NYC's Office of Emergency Management recently erected its first Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype in Brooklyn Heights. At first, we only got to see a glimpse of the emergency homes from the outside, but we recently took a grand tour of the space and have plenty of photos to share with you! Click through to see inside the new prefab units, which come complete with balconies, bathrooms and other creature comforts you might not expect to see in post-disaster housing.
During our visit to the shipping container-esque living accommodations, OEM housing recovery program manager Cynthia Barton told Inhabitat that the homes come prefabricated and shipped directly from Mark Line Industries in Indiana. Designed by Garrison Architects, the units come in two varieties: a 480-square-foot one-bedroom and an 813-square-foot three-bedroom.
More than giving displaced homeowners a dry and safe place to stay, Barton said these units would be placed in the residents’ original neighborhoods while their original lodgings are rebuilt. Following the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers were forced to find temporary dwelling in cramped hotel rooms while others chose to stay in their damaged houses. Now the OEM wants to give disaster victims a place to stay with many of the comforts of their original homes, including a living area, storage, a full kitchen, and bedroom(s).
On top of all the living amenities, these temporary pads feature cork floors, plywood furniture, and the other low-volatile organic compound building materials. Each unit is also equipped with Energy Star appliances including an electric stove as well as a LG air conditioner outside every floor. The cooling and heating systems are also designed to provide zone climate control to every room separately. Outside, LEDs light the staircase and exterior of the building while bits of yellow give the OEM spaces a bit more flair.
OEM plans to make its prototype a permanent fixture in the neighborhood for at least a year. In the coming months, OEM employees, city officials, and local universities will live in the test unit to evaluate how well it does as a long-term abode. In the long run, the organization also hopes this stacked design will become the national model used to aid disaster victims everywhere in the United States.
“We knew the biggest challenge would be using them as permanent structures and so these are connected to the municipal systems,” Barton said, explaining the emergency housing unit could remain up as long as necessary. “It’s designed to be as durable any other kind of housing. It meets all the NYC housing code.”
“We’ve already learned a lot about how to build this quickly in the city in terms of the permitting processes that you would have to go through in a disaster,” Barton expounded. “I think the design is a good one, so we’ve been happy about how everything came together and we’re looking forward to seeing how it all holds up.”
Check out the rest of the images on our Flickr stream.
Images © Kevin Lee for Inhabitat