Finally! Forest City Ratner sent out a press release officially announcing that B2, the first tower of Atlantic Yards, will definitely be built using modular construction, which means that we can definitively say Brooklyn will be home to the world's largest prefabricated tower. Construction workers are building the 930 modules in a Brooklyn Navy Yard factory, readying the system for the December 18 groundbreaking. The 32-story tower, designed by SHoP Architects, is the first of 15 that will rise at Atlantic Yards, and it should take about 18 months to complete?using prefab construction shortened the construction timeline by 10 months, according to the Times.
Forest City partnered with Skanska to create the modules, which measure roughly 14 feet wide, 35 feet long, and 10 feet tall, and are equipped with electric lines, plumbing, kitchens, toilets, and exterior facades. They can be opened up and connected to make larger units, and they can have completely different interiors. For those worried that that tower will look like a stack of Legos, modular buildings can have normal facades, and Forest City plans to use a variety of materials and colors to create "an intricate play of light, pattern and texture."
About 125 union workers will construct the modules. The number of union workers needed for prefab construction was a major point of contention, but ultimately the union reached an agreement with Forest City. "We see this as an opportunity to get into markets we're not in," Gary La Barbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council, told the Times. "We can't ignore an emerging industry. We see it as creating more job opportunities in residential construction."
The breakdown of the units remains the same: 363 total apartments, with half being affordable to low- and middle-income families. There will be 150 studios, 165 one-bedrooms, and 48 two-bedrooms. All will be designed with the same types of appliances, including a washer/dryer, and have access to the building's fitness center, yoga studio, roof terrace, game room, lounge, and bike storage.
· Forest City Ratner news releases [official]
· At Atlantic Yards, Ready to Test Plans for Prefab Tower [NYT]
· Atlantic Yards coverage [Curbed]