A whole new group of Brooklyn apartments are in the making!
Ground has (finally) been broken on the residential section of the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn. The first of three towers is now under construction on a 22 acre site. The high rise will be 32 stories, with 363 apartments.
What’s different about this project is that it will be the world’s tallest modular building. Approximately 930 modular sections will be constructed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, trucked to the site on Atlantic Avenue, and then lifted into place by cranes and attached to the steel frame of the building.
Fifty percent of the units will be low, moderate and middle-income homes whilst the remainder will be at the market rate, distributed evenly through the building. All apartments will be rented as no fee apartments.
Scheduled to take around 18 months to complete, environmentally the B2 development also hopes to achieve LEED silver certification: approximately 60 percent of the B2 tower will be prefabricated off-site, therefore 70-90 percent less waste and a 67 percent reduction in energy consumption will occur during the building phase.
Modular construction has been used in building homes for many years. The quality and variety of designs improves every year. Once known for boxy and very plain designs, modular construction can now be used to create very varied and intricate designs, with many non-boxy features.
Modular construction has many advantages over traditional methods of construction. To mention just a few, the modules that make up a home or building are constructed in a factory. This allows the builder to control temperature and humidity.It also ensures that the builders are able to properly reach every section of the modules, above, below, and on each side.
In a factory setting, pieces can be pre-cut to exact dimensions, and assembled with both glue and nails, one after the other, which results in a faster project. In a factory setting, all of the wiring and plumbing can be preinstalled, for later completion on-site. The building, knowing that the modules will be transported by truck, has to make sure that each module is built to a higher standard, to survive the transportation over roads and the lifting by a crane, as the module is set in place.
In addition to the arena and towers, the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project will also provide up to 5000 more units of affordable and market-rate housing, 22,947 square meters (247,000 sq.ft) of retail units, approximately 31,215 square meters (336,000 sq.ft) of office space, and 8 acres (32,374 sq.mt) of publicly accessible open space.
The engineering challenges of B2’s vertical modular design are being met by Skanska and the engineers at ARUP, and to date the Atlantic Yards development has already withstood Hurricane Sandy without significant impact. The success of the development could be far reaching; the technology could be applied to vertical manufactured modular construction worldwide and, as is the case for New York, also help to regenerate local manufacturing industries.