Community Involvement

Building Equity Initiative

Building Equity Initiative

  • Bowery

    Bowery Mission Façade Designs, Newark, New Jersey

    Silman provided pro-bono design service for emergency façade repairs on both the Bowery Mission office building on Lafayette Street and the historic flagship soup kitchen/rescue mission building on Bowery. The Bowery Mission shelters more than 300 unhoused New Yorkers a night.

    Image: Courtesy of Bowery Mission 

  • Treatment Center

    Adult Advocacy Center Prototype, Franklin County, Ohio

    Working with Disability Rights Ohio, Silman provided structural designs for a prototype facility where disabled adult crime victims can receive treatment and care. Light gauge steel bearing walls and framing yield an easily adaptable fabrication and construction system. An entrance canopy provides shade.

  • LangstonHughesHouse

    Langston Hughes House, New York, New York 

    The renowned poet and Harlem Renaissance leader used this 1869 brownstone as a home and office during the last decades of his life. Silman provided a structural assessment and made conditions recommendations in collaboration with the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a National Trust for Historic Preservation program.

  • AuxiliaryADU

    Avenue CDC Auxiliary ADU, Houston, Texas

    Silman structural engineers consulted with Rice University students on the design of an energy-efficient accessory dwelling unit (ADU). Two distinct living and sleeping sections allow one side to be powered while the other is not in use. Thanks to rooftop solar panels, the 600-square-foot structure is net-zero.

    Image: Courtesy of Rice Architecture Construct  

  • NeighborhoodsNow

    Neighborhoods Now, New York, New York 

    This initiative took root during the COVID-19 pandemic. Local architects, designers, and engineers provided immediate pro-bono support to hard-hit communities of color comprised of small, local businesses with few resources. Silman recommended prototype outdoor dining solutions using unconventional materials. The program has evolved to provide broader, long-term community revitalization strategies.

  • MwabwindoSchool

    Mwabwindo School, Lusaka Province, Zambia

    Silman provided structural designs for a new school supporting 250 students from pre-K through 7th grade. The 30,000-square-foot facility features classrooms, a community garden, soccer fields, a covered assembly space, and teacher housing. A metal canopy towers over a cluster of mud-brick buildings. Solar panels provide power, and a windmill pumps well water.

    Image: Chose Mweemba, Courtesy of Selldorf Architects  

  • El Barrio Bait Station

    El Barrio Bait Station, New York, New York 

    Situated along the East River Esplanade in northern Manhattan, the prototype bait station offers a surface for bait preparation and fish cleaning to support a vibrant community of local anglers. A solar canopy constructed from Cor-ten steel tops the offsite-fabricated structure, while a 16v solar panel offers illumination for nighttime fishing.

    Image: Courtesy of JACOBSCHANG Architecture 

  • Row New York, New York, New York

    Row New York, New York, New York

    Row New York is a non-profit that couples competitive rowing with rigorous academic support, enabling underserved youth in New York City to achieve academic success. Silman engineers answered the call for structural designs. Pending funding, the facility will include five boat bays to accommodate 60 boats and a learning center featuring state-of-the-art classrooms.

    Image: Rendering courtesy of Foster+Partners 

  • Mount Sinai Kyabirwa Surgical Facility, Jinja, Uganda 

    Mount Sinai Kyabirwa Surgical Facility, Jinja, Uganda

    This prototype for a self-sufficient, inexpensive ambulatory surgical facility is linked to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and integrated into the local healthcare community. The design emphasizes simplicity, using minimally invasive materials and systems that are easily accessible and maintainable locally. Silman served as the structural engineer.

    Image: Courtesy of Will Boase

  • ClevelandPublicLibrary

    On End, Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, Ohio 

    A temporary public art project was part of a more extensive annual public art series. The colorful sculptures constructed from thin 1/8” custom steel plates were bent into L-shapes and bolted together to create expressive stacked and cantilevered assemblies. After disassembly, the bent plates were used as bookends within the municipal library system.

  • RobertsTempleChurch

    Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, Chicago, Illinois

    This 1922 building was the site of Emmett Till’s open casket funeral after his brutal murder in August 1955. Silman completed a structural assessment before detailing recommendations for future preservation work. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is working towards getting support for restoring the Chicago church building as part of a new national monument.

  • ChipakataZambiaAfrica

    Chipakata Children’s Academy, Lusaka Province, Zambia

    In our first partnership with 14+ Foundation, Inc., Silman engineers provided the structural designs for a new 20,000-square-foot school with teaching and learning spaces organized as a modified version of the traditional Zambian “classroom bar” typology. Clerestory windows and an elevated roof canopy help maximize natural daylight and ventilation within the classrooms.

    Image: Courtesy of Sciame