TAP offers a variety of services to community members, homeowners, investors, renters and organizations on a sliding scale fee basis. We are able to discount our fees for qualified projects due to operating grants from NYS Homes & Community Renewal, NYS Council on the Arts and the generosity of many foundations and individuals.
Public Art and Placemaking
TAP uses art and design to create pop-up gathering spots in unlikely places, such as in parking spaces, murals in unsung alleys that nonetheless define Troy’s historic grid pattern and crosswalks whose new life as public art that display neighborhoods’ character defining features.
Troy Alley Action: Public Murals and Street Art by Troy's Volunteers and Artist:. WEBSITE
Alley Action VIDEO
Breathing Lights, Tri-City Public Art Installation to Draw Attention to Vacancy: WEBSITE
Community Design and Planning
TAP engages communities through a Community Design process to help them create and sustain healthy environments for people. This process promotes change to the built environment from the neighborhood to regional scale, and aims to meet community needs through participatory decision-making at all levels. Practitioners of community design identify and propose solutions for social, economic, and political problems, as they relate to the built environment.
Community design seeks to nurture active partnerships between community residents and institutions, so that together they can develop strategies for improving quality of life. A commitment to diversity and listening to the different voices in a community are core values of community design. Community design centers, CDC's are dedicated to the provision of planning, design and development services in low- and moderate-income communities. There are over 60 CDC's in the U.S. alone, and affiliates all over the world. LEARN MORE
Placemaking uses community design principles in the planning, design and management of public spaces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and well being. LEARN MORE
Does your neighborhood organization or association have a concern about the health and safety of your community environment? Do you seek assistance exploring and documenting a vision for the future of your neighborhood? Using smart growth and sustainable urban design practices, TAP has helped dozens and dozens of organizations to evaluate options and establish a collective vision to advance their goals. Call TAP to discuss your project ideas, fees and potential funding sources.
Feasibility Studies, Facility Planning and Building Consultation
TAP staff are experienced in both building renovation and new construction, and we are specialists in the repair and restoration of older buildings. We can help you investigate problems with your building, or complex of buildings, and study alternative remedies. We can advise you on the probable costs for the scope of work your building requires and what permits and approvals will be involved. We have extensive experience with New York State Building construction codes and standards. Feasibility studies can be provided for use in fund raising, grant writing, refinancing and life cycle cost planning. Call us to discuss your facility needs.
At TAP, there is no construction project too small. From building permits for minor projects to full services including design, estimating, scheduling, and construction administration, our creative team can assist you.
Architects work with you to solve building problems, making great spaces, improving energy efficiency, saving money during construction, creating a safe and comfortable environment, following important laws and codes surrounding the project, being gentle to the environment and the surrounding neighborhood, preserving historic architecture, and achieving your goals for the project.
Building code compliance review is a critical part of architectural design services. Building codes are constantly being revised and updated, but TAP staff is always up to date with NY State regulations.
Please view our portfolio and client list for a small sample of the architectural projects we have done, as well as the type of
work we focus on as an organization. Link to portfolio and client list below.
The first step in the architect's design process is meeting with you to understand your goals and objectives for your building. We will provide you with a cost proposal and enter into a contract. Then we will measure and document the existing conditions of your building. We research all restrictions and requirements for your project, provide preliminary ideas to visually show you what the space could be, work with you to determine the complete design, and produce your documents to submit to your local building department to obtain your permit. If requested we can also help you find a qualified contractor, get you a price for the work, manage that contractor through construction, and act as your representative until the project is complete.
Three of TAP's employees are New York State registered licensed architects, incorporated as Troy Architecture Practice PLLC. The two corporations collaborate to provide affordable architectural services to our clients in need. TAP PLLC also provides services for clients of more adequate means, allowing them the opportunity to subsidize TAP Inc.'s non-profit mission work.
Historic Preservation Services
Communities across the country recognize that preservation of their historic neighborhoods and buildings is good for their economy, their identity and pride of place. The State of New York agrees and offers income tax credits for rehabilitation of residential and commercial buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Appropriate maintenance of older buildings can differ greatly from maintaining newer buildings. The wrong treatment can cause serious, expensive or irreversible damage to irreplaceable historic buildings. Restoring the components of a building can sometimes actually be more cost effective than replacing them. And it is always more environmentally responsible to renovate a building than to dispose of it and start anew. For more information about historic tax credits, learn more HERE. Many neighborhoods in Albany, Schenectady and Troy are designated historic districts. Check the location of your property before you begin any work. There may be restrictions on the type of work you can do. There are additional reviews and approvals needed before you can start work. But, up to 40% of your costs may be refundable to you as tax credits if you apply for them properly
TAP assists clients to gain historic tax credits on projects, saving literally millions of dollars. The certification process can add time to the length of your project but it can also add resources to your budget. TAP is also experienced in evaluating the conditions of historic building, diagnosing restoration issues and specifying repairs to preserve the value of your historic property.
Site Design Services
Additions, renovations and new construction projects almost always require review and approval from your city's Zoning Board and/or Planning Commission. Even opening a new business in an existing building often triggers review. Zoning laws limit the types of uses that are allowed in different areas of a city. Before you purchase a building you will want to know that how you plan to use the building will be allowed. Always gain your municipal approvals before you start investing money in design and construction. During this process, the local planning/zoning officials will ask you to submit information about your project, such as where it is located, what the project is, how it will impact the area, and the scope of the work you propose for the property.
Most municipalities/cities require a site plan, or a bird’s eye view, of the completed project; showing the shape and size of the building and any changes you propose to make to it. The site plan shows parking spaces, garbage receptacle placement, lighting, signs, landscaping, etc. TAP has assisted in creating countless site plans for submittal to zoning and planning boards. We are knowledgeable about the process and city requirements to get you to the best possible outcome on your project. If we find that your project may not be suited for your proposed location, we can work to offer you solutions or find a better location.
Each city in the capital region has a different schedule for site plan review. Deadlines for submittal and dates for meetings are posted on their websites.
The first step in the site planning process is meeting with you to understand your goals and objectives for your site. We will provide you with a cost proposal and enter into a contract. TAP will come to your site, document the existing conditions of your site, then design and draw a site plan that will meet the city's Zoning Ordinance requirements. This will not involve any work inside your building. Site plans by TAP are strictly for zoning and planning approvals and do not include information for your building permit. Site Plans are not surveys; they contain information from available data and maps with limited measurements from your site. We will advise you if a civil or site engineer is necessary for your site and the scope of work you propose TAP will provide copies of your completed plan to be submitted to the city with your permit application.