It's said to be the biggest building of its kind, and it's going up in Brooklyn. Borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez took a look at the first housing complex planned for Atlantic Yards and filed the following report.
They're cutting metal, drilling sheetrock and sanding walls. Workers are building a high-rise tower inside a Brooklyn Navy Yard factory piece by piece. They will then be stacked in place at the Atlantic Yards site. At 32 stories, it'll be the tallest modular tower in the world.
"When they bring them in to site and they're lifted by the tower crane and set into place, they will connect together, and that mate line, we refer to all those connections as mate lines, will happen in the field," said Susan Jenkins, plant manager for FCS Modular LLC.
"Everything here is bolted together," said Roger Krulak, production manager of FCS Modular LLC. "There is no welding of steel, there's no sweating of pipes, there's no concrete. That's all very innovative."
The building, called B2, will be the first in the long-delayed housing complex at the Atlantic Yards project. Forest City Ratner is the developer. It promised that residential buildings would be constructed along with the arena. Barclays Center was completed last year. The first modules for B2 are scheduled be installed by the end of this year, floor by floor.
"They will be wrapped, and then they will be put on a back of a truck and they are driven down to the yard," Jenkins said.
To stay on schedule, the goal is to construct one floor in seven days.
Skanska Construction has partnered with Forest City in this modular manufacturing business called FCS Modular. The company says that pre-fabrication saves time and money. About 80 percent of the construction work will get done here, including all of the wiring, plumbing, bathroom finishes and windows.
"We don't actually build the elevator, but we do build the elevator shafts here," Krulak said. "We actually do install the stairs right here. So the stairs get put in here floor by floor, and then when you stack them on site, you have all of your stairs already installed."
When finished, the B2 will have 363 rental apartments, half of which will be for low- and middle-income families. The company says that the building should be completely in place by the end of next year.