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Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

In new discussion of modular construction's adoption and potential, no mention of the ill-fated B2 at Atlantic Yards

Modular Construction Meets Changing Needs in the Pandemic, the New York Times reported 12/15/20:
Modular construction has been growing in popularity among developers as a method for building multifamily housing, hotels and workplaces. The pace of hospitality and office projects has slowed in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, and many developers have turned instead to medical buildings, affordable housing and data centers.
Behind the push has been an effort to address the health concerns of businesses and schools trying to operate safely. 
Any AY mention?

I always look for a mention of the ill-fated 461 Dean Street, aka B2, the tallest modular building in the world, which took far longer and cost far more than expected, scotching Forest City Ratner's plans for a new modular business and surely contributing to the sale of the majority of Atlantic Yards to Greenland USA, which renamed it Pacific Park.

There was no mention--rather, more standardized hotels, dorms, and restaurants--but there were some hints:
“Modular makes sense for projects with a high volume of discrete and repeatable units,” said Scott L. Robinson, an assistant professor at the Schack Institute of Real Estate at New York University.

As has been noted before, the B2 site was irregular and there were many variations on "mods" used to create apartments.

The McKinsey report

The article cites a report:
Modular construction can speed up construction by as much as 50 percent and cut costs by 20 percent, according to a 2019 report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which estimated that modular construction could grow to a $130 billion industry in the United States and Europe by 2030. Upfront building costs of modular and traditional projects may be similar, but the savings come from the accelerated building timeline.“Modular allow us to be more efficient and increase construction labor productivity,” said Steffen Fuchs, a partner at McKinsey.
Well, that's what was said about B2, as well. Except it didn't work.

That report, Modular construction: From projects to products, notes--as previous--the potential for 20% savings, but acknowledges there's no track record yet.

Achiving savings depends on "carefully optimizing the choice of materials... mastering challenges in design, manufacturing, technology, logistics, and assembly... [and[ whether builders operate in a market where they can achieve scale and repeatability."

It says "affordable housing, student housing, and hotels are highly standardized and repeatable," while allowing for customization. But "narrow hotel rooms, for instance, are easier to pre-produce than wide lobby halls," as in, unmentioned, B2.

Possible savings

The McKinsey report focuses on two major types of modular products, one of which requires more assembly onsite and the other, delivered more complete (as with B2). The latter "3D volumetric approach delivers the potential for maximum efficiencies and time savings—but the trade-offs include transportation costs and size limitations."

The report cites cost savings on labor and materials and time, as well as improved quality/safety by moving things indoors, which are offset, initially, by higher upfront design costs and investment in a factory, which could cost $50 million to $100 million. Hence the partnership between Skanska USA Building and Forest City Ratner, and their litigious split.

But it all has to work--and it didn't in Brooklyn. The report notes that "The first critical productivity step is achieved at approximately 1,000 units a year"--a scale that wasn't achieved.

Now, though, certain modular builders are getting significant outside investment, which suggests the possibility of disruption.