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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park and the common use of PTACs (461 Dean, 535 Carlton, etc.)

So, what's with these PTACs, or packaged terminal air conditioners?
PTAC grilles have been the least of the issues at 461 Dean 

PTACs have a bad rep. As Gothamist's Dan Nosowitz put it recently, "These Hideous Built-In Air Conditioners Are Spreading Across NYC Like A Virus." (Actually, the unit also includes a heater.) He wrote:
...they're typically long, low-slung boxes in appealingly nothing shades of beige and white, with a few dials on top, that fit snug against a wall. They're common throughout the country in hotels and motels, because they allow for the temperature of an individual room to be precisely controlled.
They're common in New York City, and thus often--though not necessarily--result in unsightly grilles in the exterior. I can't say the examples in the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park seem particularly glaring, so unless they don't function well perhaps they'll escape scorn.
A PTAC at 461 Dean, from video

With PTACs, the metal sucks heat in the summer and absorbs apartment heat in the winter. And veteran real estate broker David Maundrell says some break down in ten years; a maintenance expert consulted by Gothamist says they can last far longer, if tended properly.

PTACs protrude at least nine inches into a room, according to Gothamist. PTACs are in the 461 Dean 50% affordable/50% market modular rental building-- though it was not explicitly described in the Construction Updates, given that the work was done in the factory.

The screenshot above left from a video about a 461 Dean model unit shows a PTAC, as does the screenshot below right from the 461 Dean web site.

And the slide below, from a 2016 case study on 461 Dean from the consultant Arup, confirms that they're using PTACs.

PTACs can be very costly for tenants, if they pay for heat, but the notice for the affordable housing lottery indicated that the rent includes does electric for heating.


At 535 Carlton

The 100% affordable 535 Carlton tower, as an Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Update indicated in April, was undergoing the installation of PTAC gas piping.

The 535 Carlton web site seems to show--maybe it's the angle--the PTAC protruding only modestly into the apartment. See image below. No finished photos have yet emerged.



The notice for the 535 Carlton affordable housing lottery indicated that the rent includes gas for cooking and gas for heating. (Some PTACs use gas, others electric, so this is surely a different component than the one used at 461 Dean.)

Not at 550 Vanderbilt, but likely at 38 Sixth

There's been no mention of PTACs regarding the 550 Vanderbilt condo building, which likely has a more sophisticated HVAC system.

But PTACs likely will be used in the 38 Sixth Avenue 100% affordable building, since it's being built along with 535 Carlton.

Below, a look at some building exteriors

535 Carlton/B14
461 Dean/B2
38 Sixth/B3

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