Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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City's First Prefabricated Apartment Building Rises In Upper Manhattan

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A brand new apartment building can now be made with all of the apartments designed and manufactured entirely off-site. NY1's Real Estate reporter Jill Urban filed the following report on the city's first pre-fabricated apartment building.

It took only 19 days to rise from foundation to seven stories tall -- and now "The Stack" in the Inwood section of Manhattan is New York City's first prefabricated apartment building.

"The Stack is New York City's first modular multi-story apartment building," says Jeffrey Brown, the CEO of Jeffrey M. Brown Associates. "We built modules out of steel frames with concrete floors and we are able to stack them on top of each other."

The seven-story building on 204th Street and Broadway is factory-made. Designed by architecture firm GLUCK+, it is made of 56 modules that were designed and manufactured off-site, then transported and put together to create 28 ready-made apartment units that range from studios to thee bedrooms.

"Everything is done in the factory -- the shelves, the shelf poles, the doorbells, the tile, the bathrooms, the fixtures, the stairways. Everything has come in place," says Peter Gluck, the president of GLUCK+.

While that was being done, workers prepared the foundation at the site. Then, piece by piece, the modules were delivered and stacked, hence the name. Once in place, workers just need to clad the exterior and make all the internal connections.

This pilot project is setting a new example for construction in New York.

"Construction anyplace is challenging. In New York City, it's even more challenging and it's pretty disruptive," Gluck says. "With this project, we were able to limit the disruption. We were on-site about six months less than we would be had this been a conventional construction job, and the actual noise and disturbance that we created was minimal."

There is also the issue of quality. In a factory setting, workers do not have to deal with the elements and they can have better access to each module from all angles.

Now construction is in the final stages, as workers connect or zip up all the parts, which should be done relatively soon.

The Stack should be ready for occupancy by the fall, so from start to finish, construction would be completed in less than a year.

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