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By Accord Real Estate Group

Assembly OSM Builds Modular Building in Fort Greene Brooklyn

March 3rd 2024
Tags: All about Brooklyn New York, Brooklyn Real Estate

One day a vacant lot in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY the very next day a new 3 story building stands on that lot located at 147 Saint Felix Street. You ask how?? To be explained later in the blog. Well, one day in the late afternoon, a crane lifted 8 pieces of fully constructed apartments and stacks them in the vacant lot.

Startup company Assembly OSM hopes to build high rise modular construction buildings faster, reduce the carbon footprint, have a more predictable cost and a higher quality buildings.

According to Assembly OSM CEO, Andrew Staniforth “It's hard to build in a pocket like this”. “This site is on top of a subway, in a landmarked district – there are a lot of constraints, that means classic modular doesn't work in a market like New York. What we focus on is how you reconcile customization and build tall”.

Assembly calls its construction method “post modular” since the structure is not put together on a single factory floor. Assembly OSM instead does the build out using a large network suppliers and manufacturers. Putting the pieces together takes place in their warehouse in Harrison New Jersey. Bathroom modules come from South Dakota, the floors are from St. Louis, Mo and the windows are from Poland.

According to Staniforth “this allows us the ability to maintain a efficient flow. We're just clipping into place rather than having to do construction under a roof which is the classic approach to modular construction”.

The layout of 147 Saint Felix Street is 2 duplex apartments, a garage and a community space. This project is a test for Assembly OSM's planned 15 story apartment building to be located at 247 117th Street in Harlem.

Assembly's system of building can go up to 30 stories and its methods take one year off the construction process.

According to Assembly's Chief Engineer Brian Sweeney” this was more expensive than if it was built as conventional, because we are trying out a bigger system”. Sweeney adds “this was our 1st time going through the Department of Building approvals, 1st time working with a general contractor, 1st time working with a different architect of record and an engineer of record”. “We wanted to get out of the prototype stage and get into a real world scenario”.

Investors have contributed more than $60M to further Assembly's vision.

The company was founded by twin brothers Bill and Chris Sharples, principals of Manhattan based ShoP Architects. Staniford comes from Forest City Ratner Companies and Sweeney also came from ShoP Architects.

To be continued...

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