The renderings for the massive modular complex for Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yard were revealed Friday by Forest City Ratner Developments. Designed by SHoP Architects, the 32 storey building will be the world’s tallest prefab and will look like stacks of volumes akin to a college campus. Although the prefab project will save on both cost and waste, the initially promised 17,000 jobs it would create has been somehow reduced to a paltry 190, amongst other disappointments.
Around 60% of the modular complex will be prefabricated, which will cut down on congestion, noise and pollution from the construction site. But what it also cuts down on is the promised union worker’s wages- from $85 an hour on the construction site to $35 in the less dangerous factory site, not to mention the aforementioned fewer jobs than initially proposed.
Another discrepancy from the 2006 plan is the size of the affordable housing apartments. The new construction report announced 130 studios, 180 one bedrooms and 20 two bedroom apartments, which differs from the original claim that 50% of the units would be 2 or 3 bedroom apartments. A percentage of each will still become affordable rental housing, but larger families counting on calling the new Atlantic Yards home will have to look elsewhere.
The question to ponder remains, what has more benefit? A new modular complex that produces 70-90% less waste and reduced energy consumption of 67% than traditional construction- or supplying high paying jobs to more New York construction workers looking for jobs in this suffering economy? But then again, any notion of “benefits” coming from Atlantic Yards is a hard sell, as no one in the local community really wanted this development in the first place.
Via NY Curbed