Best for NYC: Best Practices

by Don Friedman on October 15, 2015

New York B Corps, like us, have been encouraged to talk about our best practices as part of the Best for NYC Challenge. I was worried at first that I would run out of material but it turns out that the more I discuss this, the more there is to discuss. I’ve mentioned that we see our work in historic preservation as a way to save the sense of community that is created by a sense of place. At this point, it bears mentioning that there are different types of owners of different types of buildings. Certain types of buildings are over-represented in our projects compared to how common they are in general. We work on a lot of schools, churches, museums, and low-cost housing, even though an actual count of, for example, churches would show that there are not that many buildings. Churches are non-profit organization and most of them are both strapped for cash and are using old buildings that may be in need of significant repairs. Coming up with good solutions for this type of client means working to see if the existing structure is viable rather than throwing money at a problem by replacing everything that looks less than perfect.

To say it as simply as possible, the kinds of people and organizations that own old buildings are more likely than not to need help. There are exceptions, such as “pre-war” co-op buildings, but they are outnumbered by the owners who are afraid they won’t be able to keep their old buildings functioning. Every time we work on a project where we can help with that, it counts as a victory.

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