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Dissecting The Schiff, Five Years In

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The oft-celebrated Margot and Harolf Schiff Residences by Helmut Jahn just turned five and Robert Sharoff of Crain's decided to find out how it's getting on. After speaking with project leaders Harold Schiff, Cindy Holler, and Jahn himself, the consensus is that many of the building's cutting edge green devices (including a "graywater" recycling system, and rooftop wind turbines that look like bundled razor wire when speeding by) are more symbolic than practical. The features, some of which are defunct, added $2M to construction costs and barely do anything. Jahn believes that true green buildings must be holistically built as such. However, everyone agrees that the structure is attractive and captivating. Whenever we see it, we think Berlin. Although entirely dedicated to low-income tenants, vacancy inquiries from the general public are a regular thing. [Crain's]