Around 250 firefighters responded last Thursday after a gas main leak caused an explosion that demolished three buildings in Manhattan’s East Village. 22 people were injured, four critically, and two people are thought to still be missing.
The explosion comes only a year after two buildings in Harlem collapsed after a gas leak last March, which killed eight and injured many more. The buildings were served by a 127-year-old gas main. Following the incident in 2014, industry experts warned that utilities in many parts of the U.S. were struggling to maintain or replace antiquated and leaky gas mains in older urban areas. Mains composed of cast iron or steel are the most vulnerable.
While on a 2004 business trip to Phoenix, Arizona, British electrical engineer Hugh Pratt visited the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. As a lifelong admirer of Wright and a fan of midcentury modern architecture he asked the foundation if he might build an unrealized design for himself and his wife. The foundation affirmed his desire on the condition that Stephen Nemtin, a legacy fellow at the foundation, draw up the detailed plans. Pratt then purchased a 12-acre site in Wraxall, a small Somerset village 130 miles west of London, and the foundation agreed that the 1947 design that was intended for Santa Barbara, California, could be transplanted to the UK.
Nowadays, all buildings are rated for energy consumption and specific legislation in the EU aims to improve energy efficiency. On 4th of July, the EU announced that the European Commission reviewed a part of its Energy Efficiency Package, which is expected in autumn of this year.