Meet Alexei Tajzler

February 8, 2016

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Starting at HLZAE in 2008, Alexei Tajzler began as a Technical Associate and quickly rose through the ranks.  Alexei was promoted to Director in 2015 and now leads an HLZA architectural studio.  Alexei has worked on numerous FISP (Local Law 11), façade and roof replacement projects as well as the award-winning, landmarked Temple Emanu-El restoration and the former New York Mercantile Exchange Building.

Alexei, how does your ‘climb through the ranks’ of HLZAE benefit your clients?

Seeing the project from every aspect; knowing the responsibilities of each role gives me the full picture of how each and every team member is integral to the project’s success. Learning the ‘HLZAE Way’ is how we effectively overcome the obstacles of a project and create practical solutions.

 What would you advise a new Project Associate who’s joining HLZAE tomorrow?

Stay pragmatic and practical; you don’t have all the money and time in the world.  We have to prioritize which of the building’s issues are most critical to resolve.  We have to work within existing reasonable boundaries.  The overly cautious route would be to ‘skin’ every building – so many are falling apart!  That’s not practical and we don’t rush to judgement or panic.  As professionals, we perform as best we can by taking into consideration safety, client dollars and inconvenience. All buildings are occupied and we know we’re directly affecting people’s lives doing the work we do.  Maintaining safety and quality of life while getting the job done is imperative.

What’s on the agenda in 2016 for HLZAE?

We’re accepting more new building consulting projects for 2016, in addition to expanding our building preservation/conservation/restoration team.  We’ll continue to stay close to our clients and keep serving them well. And, of course, FISP gets busier as the sub cycles of Cycle 8 kick in.

Any new developments in the field?


New rulings regarding enclosed balconies put them in question with respect to their code compliance. In the past, balcony enclosures were allowed to be built with little intervention from the Building Department; now they are subject to new code regulations. Due to age, deterioration, and lack of standards, the Building Department is taking a closer look. Many of our clients are seeking our advice on this legalization issue. Rooftop and balcony railings and guard rails are being reviewed from not only the standpoint of structural stability, but also for code compliance. Modifications being done to balcony railings and the terraces themselves could put the railings out of compliance.


My studio has recently completed several garage restoration jobs which included full slab re-pours.  These are surprising because most are below grade and sheltered from the elements.  You would expect them to be in better condition, but they were in bad shape and our client recognized the need to correct the situation.

Reflective Roofs

Most new rooftop membranes require a reflective surface to satisfy new energy codes and to counter urban heat island effect, defined as when dark surfaces on buildings and streets absorb the heat from solar exposure. In the past, roofing manufacturers would provide an additional field-applied coating. Now, some have been able to modify the resin within the liquid membrane itself, making it ‘reflective’ under the parameters of the code. This is great for building owners because it is one less component to apply and maintain, which will lower labor costs.

I came to HLZAE to obtain actual construction and field experience, which I’ve gotten plus so much more.  I’ve adapted my personal approach towards architecture and I find the problem-solving aspect of our field very rewarding. I welcome the opportunity to go to unused rooftops and terraces and mechanical spaces – they’re unique experiences with access limited to only a few. They allow me to see buildings and the city from alternative perspectives!

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