We recently wrote about how Brooklyn's upcoming Atlantic Yards development will boast the world's largest prefab tower, and now we're excited to report that the new building is set to break ground this morning. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Forest City Enterprises President and Chief Executive Officer David LaRue, Forest City Ratner Companies Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York President Gary LaBarbera, Skanska USA Building CEO William Flemming, and Bertha Lewis will be kicking off construction for the 32-story tower in just a few hours at 461 Dean St. in Brooklyn. Designed by SHoP Architects, the building will be made up of prefab pieces that will be made right in a Brooklyn Navy Yard factory. We're hoping that once it's up, this new modular technology will spread across New York and become the cheaper, easier, and more sustainable future of city construction.
Nearly 60% of the B2 tower will be prefabricated off-site. This means the complex will produce 70-90% less waste and will reduce energy consumption by 67% during the building phase. Controversy has swirled around this strategy, as it will cut union worker wages from $85 an hour for on-site construction to only $35 an hour in a factory setting. The development also drastically cuts the number of workers needed, leaving only 125 lucky laborers on the job. The flipside to this is that the overall cost and energy will be also be cut.
Inside, the building will offer 130 studio apartments, 180 one bedrooms, and 20 two bedroom units. A percentage of each will be affordable rental housing, while all will offer views of the burgeoning borough.