PCI: 2019 Summer Ascent

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Left: The insulated precast concrete panels of the Redfern Houses provide a finished appearance as well as durable interior. The community/ childcare center features a distinctive façade with insulated precast concrete panels and hurricane-resistant glazing. Rendering: MDSzerbaty Associates Architecture.

PROJECT SPOTLIGHT REDFERN HOUSES

LOCATION: Queens, N.Y. Designer: MDSzerbaty Associates Architecture, New York, N.Y. Owner: New York City Housing Authority, New York, N.Y. Engineer: YAS Consulting Engineers, New York, N.Y. Contractor: Navillus Contracting, New York, N.Y. PCI-Certified Precast Concrete Producer: Coreslab Structures (CONN), Thomaston, Conn. (Redfern Houses) NPCA Precast Concrete Producer: Coastal Pipeline, Calverton, N.Y. (Bayside retaining wall) Precast Concrete Components: 14,021 ft2, 48 structural walls, 117 hollow-core pieces, 60 cladding panels, 9 copings (Redfern Houses), 5200 ft of perimeter floodwall (Bayside)

Right: Construction is under way at Redfern Houses where in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, it was necessary for the New York City Housing Authority to rebuild critical infrastructure systems in a rapid yet cost-effective manner. Photo: Coreslab Structures.

Redfern Houses, Far Rockaway, Queens, N.Y. During Sandy, apartments at Redfern Houses—a nine-building, 604unit housing development in Far Rockaway—were flooded and without power and heat for weeks. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), as part of its Recovery and Resiliency Department, is completing upgrades to infrastructure and building a new community center and daycare facility to replace the one severely damaged. Five electrical power service buildings, a boiler plant, and a two-story, 14,295-ft2 community center are under construction. The latter includes the daycare center, offices, storage space on the ground floor, and community space on the second floor. The new electric service buildings are elevated above the NYC-codeprescribed design flood elevation to prevent future power loss from flood conditions. In addition, these structures house gas-driven standby emergency generators to provide full power capacity for the entire residential complex. A new boiler plant, also elevated above flood level, is being constructed on top of an existing coal bunker to replace the current boiler room, which was below grade and completely flooded. MDSzerbaty Associates Architecture (MDSA) in New York has been involved in five Sandy Resiliency Projects for NYCHA. “Developing resilient methods for each site, funded by FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] grant dollars, has been challenging. Working with the updated FEMA guidelines, MDSA is relocating the electric service and other utilities into new structures at the Far Rockaway site,” says Michael D. Szerbaty, principal at MDSA. “Redfern Houses were inundated with water during the storm. We needed to raise up the critical infrastructure and buildings, including the community and childcare center to meet the 500-year flood elevation,” explains Szerbaty.