Ever since 2008, NYC's Office of Emergency Management and Department of Design and Construction have been working on the “What If NYC” campaign to help prepare for the city's next big disaster. They weren't ready in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit, but now they have a new post-disaster housing system ready for testing. The prefab row house was designed by Garrison Architects and will be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Brooklyn this summer. Intended to be used as housing after the emergency stage but before permanent housing can be constructed, the sustainable and solar-ready modular units will be trucked in, stacked and plugged into utilities. After assembly, a group of individuals will move into the apartments to test them out and provide feedback for improvement.
The “What If NYC…” design competition offered up lots of potential solutions, which helped the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) develop a playbook and guidelines in the event of another major disaster. New York City and other dense urban areas have to deal with disasters and emergency housing much differently than more spacious cities. With limited open land and tightly packed infrastructure, New York City needs compact and quickly deployable temporary housing. The partnering organizations selected a prefab modular design by Garrison Architects, who recently designed these flood-proof modular beach buildings for NYC area beaches.
Garrison’s post-disaster housing is designed to be deployed on a city block and can be built as a stand alone unit, combined with others to create row housing, or even interspersed with existing homes. The ground floor will contain a 480-sq-ft one bedroom, handicap accessible apartment. The next two floors will be 822-sq-ft, three-bedroom apartments. The units will measure 12 x 40 ft and can easily be trucked in, craned into place and then plugged into utilities. Energy efficiency, health, sustainability and renewable energy all play an important role in the design.
A FEMA grant will provide the funds for the prototype to be built on an empty lot near OEM’s office on Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. Fabrication and assembly of the project will provide insight to help improve future iterations. After construction, a group of people will move into the apartments to test them out and give feedback on living in the space. Work is expected to commence on the project sometime this summer.
Via A/N Blog
Images ©Garrison Architects