Modular Building Institute

NYC Urban Interim Housing Prototype

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Mark Line Industries, Inc.
American Manufactured Structures and Services
Brooklyn, NY
Building Use:
Urban Density Interim Housing
Gross Size of Project:
2100 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    After the damage suffered by New York City as a result of Superstorm Sandy, FEMA and New York City Office of Emergency Management sought an attractive, healthy, and high-performance solution for urban-density interim housing that could be used for in permanent applications after the initially recovery. The design-build team created a core and bedroom module type that can be deployed in various combinations to serve families of varied sizes. When fully deployed, the interim housing units are meant to form a full urban block, stacking from four to six stories in height. Interiors are well-lit, feature ample storage, and are fully accessible. The buildings feature a clean and modern aesthetic with a demountable rainscreen cladding that can replaced in permanent applications to better match the site’s context. Building accents match NYC OEM’s branding in custom powder coated ReadyNY yellow.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    Following FEMA’s experiences in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, great care was taken finish the building with healthy materials that would provide and maintain a clean and supportive interior environment. The vertical stair modules bolt-together and tilt-up, quickly rendering the building accessible for occupants. Off-gassing engineered wood products were avoided with phenolic faced multi-ply material used to fabricate custom cabinetry and storage units and rapidly renewable cork plank floors throughout, all contributing to the healthy indoor environment. Since utilities are frequently disrupted following natural disasters, the building is designed to integrate with a photovoltaic array and equipped with systems to reduce the demand for energy and water. High-efficiency VRF HVAC, a double-insulated rain screen, reflective membrane roofing, low-flow fixtures, and LED and CFL lighting throughout also help to maintain sustainability.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    Building for the nation’s most expensive construction market with the strictest zoning requirements lent itself to off-site, modular fabrication where modern efficiencies can help defray some of the cost drivers. To deliver a viable model that could be deployed in urban areas across the country, a full analysis of all materials and systems was performed weighing material upfront cost, labor component, durability / cost to replace, and other properties such as weight. For instance, pre-engineered precast panel was used in lieu of reinforced poured slabs to reduce the size of crane required at the site. We also sought to reduce ongoing operating costs by utilizing low-flow fixtures and fittings, high-efficiency split system HVAC, a double insulated rain screen envelope and thermally broken custom window systems.
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