Some rather astounding--and not necessarily accurate--information about plans for Atlantic Yards modular construction has been published by Forest City Ratner's construction partner Skanska in the 2014-15 Build Offsite Review produced by an industry organization in the United Kingdom that promotes modular construction.
It doesn't quite make sense. The first tower, 32 stories, will hold 363 units, which implies that future towers would have to be much larger.
Each Project building would also remain subject to the individual building height and individual building maximum floor area limits specified in Exhibit C to the 2009 Modified General Project Plan (the 2009 MGPP).
However, Forest City Ratner agreed, upon project approval in December 2006, to lower that height to 511 feet, symbolically one foot shorter than the then-tallest building in Brooklyn, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, now One Hanson Place.
That symbolic reduction would not keep the new tower from blocking the bank's iconic clock, however.
Perhaps that height limit is less meaningful now that there are even taller buildings in Downtown Brooklyn.
But the Final Scope does say:
As described in the 2009 Technical Memorandum, it is assumed that the height of Building 1 would be reduced from 620 feet (as analyzed in the 2006 FEIS) to 511 feet, so that this structure would be less than the height of the nearby Williamsburgh Savings Bank building.So maybe Skanska was talking smack. Or maybe everything can be revised. Could there be some plan, backed by the political establishment, to deliver an extra-tall tower in order to provide "affordable housing" faster?
Statistics: speed, cost savings, offsite work, onsite workers
The document claims that construction is 30 per cent faster than traditional construction, which may ultimately be the case, though it doesn't look like the first building will reach that goal.
It claims cost savings of only 10%, though the Draft SEIS suggests a 22% reduction.
It states that 80% of the building is completed offsite. Forest City has said 60% offsite.
And it states that only 30 people would be working on site at any one time. That's a very interesting number.
Consider that Forest City previously estimated 190 workers, including 150 workers at the factory. If the Skanska figure is correct, that's a total 180 workers. We already know compensation and hours are lower.
A "flying factory" could move
The manufacturing facility was itself constructed in six months with the capability to be dismantled in 10 days and relocated to serve the next project. This is the ‘flying factory’ concept that Skanska has been developing.There's obviously a value to having the factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Should Forest City and its partners decide that future projects would require having the factory closer to the development site--or, perhaps, simply in a cheaper location--that factory could fly away.
But it also suggests that Greenland, which is an ambitious, aggressive developer with cash to burn, may have some plans for that factory, using it in other projects.