Brooklyn Skyscraper to be Completed Using Modular Construction

Skanska USA and Forest City Ratner Companies are breaking ground on B2, the first residential tower that is part of the Atlantic Yards Development in Brooklyn, N.Y.

New York—Brooklyn is getting a new skyscraper. Skanska USA and Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) are breaking ground on B2—the first residential tower that is part of the Atlantic Yards Development in Brooklyn, N.Y. The 32-story building is expected to be completed in 2014.

B2 will include 363 units, 50 percent of which will be reserved as affordable housing. Floor plans will include studios and one- and two-bedroom units. Amenities for the building will include a fitness center, bike storage, lounge, game room, yoga/dance studio and roof terrace. Additionally, all the units will include a washer and dryer.

The architectural firm SHoP, which designed the newly opened Barclays Center in Brooklyn, will design B2. What distinguishes the building is that B2 will be built using modular construction. This type of construction is rare for high-rise developments.

“Construction is by definition about building,” William Flemming, president and CEO of Skanska USA Building, said in a press statement. “With this project, however, and with our partnership with FCRC and the Construction Trades, we are also building a new industry that has potential to become New York City’s newest export—a product and process that can transform how construction is done in this century. We are proud to bring our expertise in prefabrication, which we have used extensively on our healthcare and data center facility projects, to the residential market for the first time in New York City.”

In their partnership, Skanska and FCRC have created a company, located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, called FC + Skanska Modular (FCS Modular), which will build the modular aspect of the building. Here, the 930 modular units (which combined will form the 363 units) will be assembled by workers and trucked to the construction site. An estimated 125 jobs will be created with this endeavor.

It is estimated that the modular construction will result in 70 to 90 percent less waste than for a traditional construction. The community is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification.

“Housing was and is at the very foundation of the Atlantic Yards development,” Bruce Ratner, chairman and CEO of FCRC, said in a press statement. “Our commitment to affordable housing in a way that assists low-income New Yorkers and working families is as strong today as when we announced this project nearly nine years ago. With modular, we are also transforming how housing is built in New York City and, potentially, around the world. And we are doing it, as we do with all our construction, in partnership with union labor—the best labor—in the best city in the world. With our new partner, Skanska USA, we are creating a new industry for which we can say, ‘Made in Brooklyn.’”