Center for Environmental Building & Design


Building e[m]ergy analysis of Manhattan: Density parameters for high-density and high-rise developments

Jae Min Lee, William W. Braham

To better understand how cities work, this study performs e[m]ergy (spelled with an “m”) synthesis of buildings on Manhattan Island. Conventional e[m]ergy studies have focused on much larger unit of analysis; however, architects, urban designers, and policymakers are operating on a smaller scale of building,block, neighborhood, and district. This study contributes to overcoming the scale and resolution mismatch between the macro- and micro-levels. Overall e[m]ergy for entire buildings on Manhattan Island is computed by adopting square-foot-base building cost estimation technique to e[m]ergy synthesis. We found that high-density and high-rise developments can achieve their maximum empower at the rangeof 1–5 Floor Area Ratio (FAR; an indicator of development density computed as total building floor area divided by total parcel area) and building height under 40 stories.

Ecological Modelling 363 (2017) 157–171