EPSTEIN – 90 years of excellence in architecture, engineering and construction

December 6, 2011 at 12:38 am | Posted in Green Building Projects, News from Members | 3 Comments
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Managing Director of Epstein Romania

RoGBC Founding Member, Epstein Engineering & Architecture has recently celebrated 90 years of existence, since the company was established in Chicago, in 1921. For nearly 90 years, Epstein, the architecture, interior design, engineering and construction company, has been associated with landmark projects throughout the world. Their specialists have been providing sustainable design, engineering and construction solutions for clients in the commercial, industrial and public sector.

The company is headquartered in Chicago with a regional domestic office in New York and international locations in Warsaw, Poland (since 1971) and Bucharest, Romania (since 2006).

Epstein is active on the Romanian market for more than five years, developing successful projects for international clients like Lufkin, Cameron, Andrew Corporation, Emerson, Star Foods Romania, Petrom.

“We are very proud that we have succeeded in consolidating our position on the Romanian market under difficult economic conditions, within only five years of existence. Our significant experience on industrial projects in Romania, along with the growing market potential, lead us further concentrate upon penetrating the commercial segment, as well.  We strongly believe in developing sustainable solutions for all of our projects and therefore offer LEED[1] consulting and energy modeling services for clients. We are one of the few companies in Romania with LEED Accredited Professionals and LEED Certified projects in Central Europe., declared Randy Tharp, Managing Director of Epstein Romania.

In Romania, Epstein is currently working on a new manufacturing facility for Lufkin Industries, providing architectural and engineering services, as well as general contracting. The new 35,470 sq m facility is located on an approximately 33.32 hectare site within the Ploiesti West Park in Romania. This new Lufkin facility is developed with the purpose to support sales of oil pumping units to current and future customers in the Middle East, Black Sea, Central Europe and eventually Russia.

At the moment Epstein is providing full architecture, engineering and construction management services for the development of a new finished goods warehouse for Star Foods. The new construction is set up as an extension of their existing storage objectives and activities developed on the company’s site, in Popesti Leordeni, at their processing facility on the southern outskirts of Bucharest. The new building will include: a finished products warehouse, in connection with the existing hall, an expedition area and office and employee welfare areas, totaling approximately 4500 sq m.

In 2009, Epstein was general designer for a new production facility in Cluj-Napoca for Emerson, offering full service architecture and engineering for a new production hall with an area of ​​6,500 square meters, with an additional 1,800 sq m of office space. This building was completed in mid 2010.

Read the full press release here.

[1] The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program from the United States Green Building Council is a means for building owners to certify their building as a sustainable facility. The program allocates credits to different categories of sustainable design and provides a Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum rating based on the number of credits obtained.

Timisoara Workshop – City Young Minds Draw the PUG

December 9, 2008 at 11:23 pm | Posted in Academics, Events | Leave a comment
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During the 17th of November till the 21st of November, Romania Green Building Council was represented in the City Environment workshop, an international and cross-disciplinary workshop between young professionals, trying to understand the process of creating a Master Plan or a PUG (General Urban Plan) in an ecological approach.

Workshop Organizers:

The Faculty of Mechanics Students’ League, Timisoara

The Faculty of Mechanics Students’ League from Timisoara (LSFMT) is a non-governmental, apolitical organisation, mainly committed to representing the students’ rights and interests through specific means and representatives in different decision making forums.

The Urban Planning Workshop, Timisoara

It is a space organized by the Urban Planning Departments of Timisoara (Atelierul de Urbanism), in Piata Operei, design to become an interface between the Urban Planning Department and the city. Its purpose is to inform citizens about the projects that are going to be approved, to present projects, to host exhibitions or other events like the workshop.

Romanian Landscape Architects’ Association

Romania Landscape Architects’ Association (AsoP) is a non-governmental, non-profit, non-political and independent organization that supports the development of the landscaping activities in Romania and promotes the active implication of the citizens in the development of the green spaces and encourages them to join the efforts of the non-profit organization in improving the quality of life.

Volunteer members of ‘Peace Corps’, USA

The Peace Corps is a United States governmental agency that sends volunteers to over 70 countries all over the world to help meet the need for trained men and women, to educate citizens of other countries about America, and to educate Americans about other peoples and cultures. Daniel is an urban planner and Sarah and Doug are environmentalists.

About the workshop itself:

Monday, 17th of November

We all met in the afternoon at Atelierul de Urbanism and started discussions about what a Master Plan or a General Urban Plan is. Discussions were held by Mr. Sorin Ciurariu, Chief Architect of Timisoara, and Mr. Serban Bortnowski. There were 25 participants – students from different specializations (architecture, urban planning, landscaping and geography) and from different countries (Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, France, Serbia, Spain and Italy). We were highlighted the problems we face in this process of creating a Master Plan in Romania, and how things should be done. The subject of the workshop was also presented: the approach of a Master Plan, main ideas of the process, adapted for Timisoara and a key project (proposals for an ex-industrial area situated near the Iosefin residential protected area, between the Bega River and the train lines, in proximity with the train station). When discussions were over, in the evening, we made a short city visit and ended in the Architecture Faculty’s Pub.

Tuesday, 18th of November

In the morning we went for a site visit, to see where our key project is located and to understand the context. After that, we divided into groups and made a SWOT analysis of the site.

The organizers invited us, the participants, to the Politechnical University’s swimming pool to enjoy a relaxing evening.

Wednesday, 19th of November

In the morning we split in 3 groups: the urban planners’ group (mainly composed of the students from Bucharest), the architects’ group (with students from Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara) and the landscape architects’ group (in which all the foreign students were present). Each group was accompanied by someone from the organizers, to keep in touch with the Timisoara context. We presented the 3 proposals. They were similar in many points of view, but also had strong differences. The landscape architects thought at a large scale first, and came up with ideas at the metropolitan area: creating a surrounding green belt, connecting it to the European Green Belt, they highlighted the villages from the metropolitan area and proposed connections between them. They also had an approach of the key project, proposing to flood the most important part of the area. The urban planners concentrated a lot on transportation, completing the transportation rings. The architects were very specific, coming with proposals for the key project: creating a modular system of housing for different social classes, including the river in the city, through a sort of harbor, transportation along the river, and transforming the train station into a multi-layered transportation hub, with a mixed function. All the proposals were in a way influenced by the others, because we were encouraged to be involved in the other groups’ proposals.

In the afternoon we had to negotiate a common solution for the key project. Also, as an important part of the workshop, we started working on a set of statements, at the city’s scale, that would list the main directions we considered Timisoara should follow in the process of creating the General Urban Plan and the Master Plan. Negotiations went well and cross-disciplinary work gave birth to a better solution. Negotiation wasn’t about giving something away, but gaining more.

Thursday, 20th of November

This day was dedicated to real work, aiming for a set of statements and the key project. Negotiations continued and even new ideas appeared. It was a long day, and everybody proved to be really dedicated to the work. Some of us stayed very late at night (even after 6 in the morning) to make sure we did a good job. Hard work in big teams also comes with a lot of fun. We listened to music, made jokes, and enjoyed working together.

Friday, 21st of November

We came back at the Atelierul de Urbanism as fast as we could woke up from a very short sleep, and continued with the last details and prepared the slides for the presentation. At about 12 o’clock we went to the Politechnical University’s Senat Room. Among the invitees were the Mayor, the Technical University’s Rector, the Chief Architect, the president of Timis Architects’ Order, the press and others. After we presented the process of the workshop and the final results, debates started on the ideas we came up with, the workshop’s process, the statements, etc.

As a conclusion:

I’d say the workshop was a successful one. We, the participants, learned to think cross-disciplinary in such a big project as a General Urban Plan or a Master Plan and kept our minds focused on environmental issues.

Hopefully, the ideas will be taken into account for the actual General Urban Plan and Master Plan of Timisoara city, and why not, maybe this kind of actions will take place in other important city of Romania, since all of them are now working on the new General Urban Plan and Master Plan.

Photos of the event are available here.

The list of statements are available here.

Hoping for a ‘greener’ future in a ‘greener’ world,

Adrian Pop

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