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Regulating the Deliberate Emptiness of New York's Skyscrapers

Mechanical voids or stilts—whatever you call the trick of architecture that has been pressing the residential skyline in New York ever higher, the city is ready to regulate.
June 29, 2018, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Skinny Skyscraper
Tomasz Wozniak

"The city is on schedule to regulate so-called excessive mechanical voids by the end of the year, dealing a blow to developers who use a quirk in the building code to boost the height of their luxury apartment towers," reports Joe Anuta.

Mechanical voids are also known as stilts, as mentioned in the headline to illuminate the concept. Still, here is a more technical description:

Mechanical voids are essentially floors used to house the heavy equipment that powers a building's systems. However, by raising the ceilings of these spaces to dizzying heights, developers increasingly have been creating hollow pedestals upon which they can stack luxury apartments. 

These luxury apartments sell at higher prices so that makes developers happy, but neighborhood groups have caught onto the embellishment.

The city has been studying the void and stilts issue since January.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Crain's New York Business
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