Each 12-foot-wide prefabricated box was easily guided by the workers with a slight push, as it was suspended from a crane.
In a bow to the property's innovative construction technique, the building is to be known as The Stack. It was created by a partnership of developer/builder Jeffrey M. Brown Associates and Gluck+ architects.
Despite the touted economy of off-site, prefabricated housing, the methodology has made limited inroads in New York, stunted for decades by bureaucracy and a public that preferred flashy condominium projects.
Recently, interest in modular construction is catching on in a big way. That interest grew more urgent after Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the city, leading officials to re-examine prefab disaster-housing schemes.
Part of modular construction's appeal of is that by building in a factory, the modules—as well as carpenters, plumbers, electricians and others building them—are protected from the elements, which helps ensure quality control and quicker construction. Door bells, lights, switches, bathrooms, tiles, kitchens, everything's in there already - even the first coat of paint.
And when it comes time to put the pieces together, a building can blossom in just a few weeks.
In the case of The Stack, it only took a few months to prepare the site and lay the foundations, and all the while crews were busy building the modules at a factory in Pennsylvania. The small modules do mean low ceilings, however—necessary, in part, to make it across the bridge to the city.
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