Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Realignment of B2 modules? Not really, says Forest City, calling "alignment" routine

So, what happened to Forest City Ratner's announced plan to realign and possible lift modules on the 10th (and current highest) floor of the B2 tower at Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street?

Never mind. It's routine, Forest City asserts.

I'm not so sure.

As I wrote 3//17/15, the latest two-week Construction Update, prepared by Greenland Forest City Partners and distributed by Empire State Development, stated:
B2 is targeting 4/01/15 as the commencement date for the activities to prepare for the erection of modules for floors 11, 12, and 13. Preparation may require 5-10 business days depending on how difficult the work is as well as weather conditions. These preparation activities will be to focus on tightening up the tolerances of the 10th floor modules that are in place in preparation for setting the next floors. Work shall include re-aligning modules in plan [horizontal view, acc. to commenter] and elevation using bolt on adjustment plates and/or possibly lifting some modules with the crane and re-setting. Other activities on site that may be performed during this time will be to prepare temporary sprinkler standpipe and the metal stairs for the setting of the 11th floor.
Lower floors of B2
That struck me as an acknowledgment that the modules--as seems obvious--are somewhat out of alignment, and raised the question as to whether lower floors also needed to be realigned. (See photo at right.) 

Remember, the building is slated to rise 32 stories.

Forest City had said any adjustments would be an "easy fix."

Drilling down

But none of the subsequent Construction Updates contained that information. Tonight, at the periodic Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting, I asked why.

"I talked to our head of construction about that, trying to understand," responded Forest City Ratner Chief of Staff Ashley Cotton. "Realignment? Actually, it's alignment. When they built the New York Times headquarters, same guys… alignment is happening all the time. I know that sounds dramatic to someone like me, who’s a layperson, but that's what was happening, pretty standard. It sounds dramatic, because of modular construction, perhaps, because it all feels a little different, but the tolerances on any building, the World Trade Center, the Gehry building we built, B2 on Dean Street, he was like, there's nothing dramatic about that work at all, it’s what we're doing all the time. So maybe that's why it didn't appear again."

Maybe, maybe not. After all, they did cite "re-aligning modules" in the initial Construction Update.