Sunday, May 17, 2015

Looking at newly placed modules for B2 modular tower; as 11th floor rises, will "alignment" be needed?

Today, I walked past the B2 modular tower at Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street, noticing that several modules had been placed on the 11th floor, as developer Forest City Ratner announced this week.

That ends a hiatus of more than nine months, since early August 2014, and signals a new chapter for B2, which originally was supposed to be constructed by Skanska USA, with modules delivered from a factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard co-owned by Skanska and Forest City.

Now Forest City runs the factory, and Tishman Construction is in charge of the construction site.

Will they fit?

Shot from the street, the red facade doesn't line up;
however, the red section sticks out, so alignment unclear
The question bubbles up, however: will the modules fit?

After all, Skanska, which is Forest City's adversary in three lawsuits (which likely will be consolidated), has charged that misalignment means "nobody knows if the building is going to leak."

Forest City both denies that charge and says "alignment" is routine (after signaling that some units needed to be re-aligned and might even need to be left into place again).

I find that explanation questionable.

From the street

Looking at a small piece of the facade at the 10th and 11th floor, as indicated in the photo above left, it seems like the modules don't line up.

These seams line up
The seams of the vertical column at right do not appear line up with the seams of the next column to the left, at least at the top two floors, the 10th floor and the 11the floor.

However, it's impossible to evaluate that from the street, since we're looking up at an angle at the intersection of a flat panel (silver) and panel that sticks out from the facade (red).

Those closer to the street clearly line up, but the variance surely increases as the building goes higher.

It's certainly a question mark, though, and one that deserves evaluation not merely by the developer.

By contrast, as indicated in the photo at right, the seams do seem to line up precisely between the two columns next two columns to the left, the only other columns with 11th floor modules. The facades there are of similar dimensions.







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