City unveils post-disaster housing unit prototype: VIDEO

Apartments could be assembled on-site in areas where victims cannot access their homes
June 10, 2014 04:25PM

The city’s Office of Emergency Management unveiled the first products of its Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype Program in Brooklyn Heights today — prefabricated units meant to be shipped and assembled in a flash following a disaster like Hurricane Sandy.

The prototype exhibited today was made out of three apartment units, one holding three bedrooms and two with one bedrooms, ranging in size from 480 square feet to 813 square feet. One is handicap-accessible. The space, on view next to OEM’s offices near Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza, measure roughly 40 feet by 100 feet.

Each unit includes a small balcony, storage space, kitchen, living area, bathroom and bedrooms.

Designed to be built on-site so that victims of floods and other disasters can remain in their neighborhoods, the units “test the many facets of disaster housing in an urban environment,” Joseph Bruno, OEM commissioner, told Gothamist.

A group of OEM and city employees will test the sample units in the coming months, while NYU-Poly and Pratt study how the units preform as living spaces and how a large number of them could be used to restore a neighborhood following a disaster.

See a time-lapse video showing the units’ assembly below. [Gothamist]Julie Strickland