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Thread: Atlantic Yards Development - Commercial, Residential, Retail, NBA Arena

  1. #3541
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    Problem With Weak Bolts Has Complicated the Barclays Center’s Early Days


    Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
    Steel at the Barclays Center was supposed to be installed with bolts twice as strong as were used.
    Engineers later concluded most were still sufficient.


    By CHARLES V. BAGLI

    The weathered steel panels and swooping canopy of the Barclays Center, the new home for the Brooklyn Nets, have served notice that brawny, once-industrial Brooklyn is back in the big leagues. But with innovation has also come headaches.

    The fabricator for the 12,000 steel panels — no two alike — abruptly shut down midway through the job.

    The panels have occasionally dripped rusty orange blossoms onto the sidewalk.

    And lately, iron workers have replaced hundreds of bolts that anchor the panels to the building’s structure. Engineers determined that weaker ones were originally installed, raising concerns about the structure’s integrity.

    The incorrect bolts were discovered only a month before the Barclays Center was scheduled to open on Sept. 28. The arena ultimately opened on time and it survived Hurricane Sandy’s winds a month later.

    After examining every joint, engineers determined that only 8 percent of the 23,351 weaker bolts needed to be replaced.

    But the issue has led to questions about communications between regulators and the arena’s developer, Forest City Ratner.

    The New York City Buildings Department said its inspectors had not been told about the problem with the bolts.

    “The department was not made aware of this issue,” said Anthony Sclafani, a Buildings Department spokesman. “We would expect to be notified in a case like this.”

    But Forest City provided a copy of a nine-page letter concerning the bolts that it said had been filed with the Buildings Department on Sept. 14. That was the day the agency issued a temporary certificate of occupancy that allowed the arena to open as scheduled.

    The letter, from an engineering company, outlined a plan to address the “recent discovery” that incorrect bolts had been used. It did not indicate how many bolts would be replaced, only that a “change out” had begun.

    Robert Sana, executive vice president for construction at Forest City Ratner, played down the problem. He said such issues were not unusual during a major construction project, particularly one with highly customized architecture. But the result was worth it, he said.

    “Our building is successful because it creates a proper front door for the project and a dramatic entrance that arenas generally don’t have, sitting in the middle of a suburban parking lot,” Mr. Sana said.

    Bruce C. Ratner, chief executive of Forest City Ratner, had offered something for everyone when in 2003 he unveiled plans for the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards development, which includes the arena.

    There would be a professional basketball team to salve the wound left by the departure, many decades before, of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. The project would have lots of affordable housing, and a striking design by the architect Frank Gehry.

    But the recession and opposition from community groups stalled the project. In 2009, Mr. Ratner jettisoned the Gehry design, which called for a $1 billion arena, because it was too expensive.
    He asked a more conventional arena architect, Ellerbe Becket Architects and Engineers, to come up with an alternative. Later, he brought in SHoP Architects to give the building a striking facade that Mr. Ratner hoped would fulfill his original promise.

    “It was clear to us, coming off a Gehry design, that we couldn’t do just anything,” Mr. Sana said.

    SHoP wrapped the arena in three bands of pre-weathered steel to give a gritty, muscular cast, hinting at an industrial past. A swooping canopy with an oculus, or circular window, extended 80 feet from the front doors toward a new subway entrance.

    “This had to be a civic gesture, with the canopy and the oculus creating a public area where people would want to gather, at the mouth of mass transit,” said Christopher Sharples of SHoP. “It’s a legacy project. It’s not just about sports.”

    In February 2010, Hunt Construction, Forest City’s manager for the project, awarded a $32.4 million contract to ASI Limited, a steel fabricator outside Indianapolis, to produce the 12,000 panels that cover 85 percent of the facade.

    ASI was to put the panels through a series of wet and dry cycles over four months to create the protective rusty patina.

    But right before Christmas 2011, ASI defaulted on a bank loan and shut its doors.

    Hunt Construction was eventually able to have the fabrication plant reopened. Most of the original workers were hired to fill two 12-hour shifts a day in a race to make up for lost time.
    But in August, an engineering firm discovered the problem with the bolts that fastened the steel plates to the structure. The fabricator had sent five-eighths-of-an-inch bolts that were half as strong as those of that size that had been ordered.

    In the end, engineers determined that only 1,768 of the 23,351 bolts — about 8 percent — would need to be cut out and replaced. Workers in December were replacing the final batch, all in the canopy that extends over the entryway.

    As for the blossoms of metal staining the sidewalks surrounding the arena? Eventually the panels will stop rusting and workers will use power washers to remove all traces of metal from the sidewalks.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/n...ays.html?_r=1&

  2. #3542
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Really, the panels will just cease to rust??

  3. #3543

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    Theoretically, at least before the Industrial Age.

    Well, too late for that.

    Water and oxygen act to form iron oxide (rust) on the metal surface. It's not as clingy as the green patina is to copper, but it does form a patina which stops further rusting. Compounds like sulfur dioxide (acid rain) further break down the rust into iron hydroxide, which more easily flakes off the surface. This exposes more metal rusting, and the process continues until the metal is gone.

    The initial rusting happens fast; look at unpainted beams fresh out of the foundry at construction sites. Then it slows down and is less noticeable in the short run. I think that's what Bagli meant.

  4. #3544
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    Default Great architectural review...

    http://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/in.../a_560x375.jpg

    Justin Davidson: Barclays Center Is Brooklyn’s Ready-Made Monument
    By Justin Davidson



    Anyone who feels that New York has become too shiny and seamless, too crowded with lithe towers coated in satiny glass, should march over to the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Brooklyn, where a great, tough-hided beast of a building lies defiantly curled. Barclays Center, home of the rebaptized Brooklyn Nets, is armored in scales of rusted steel, yet somehow it’s more alluring than fearsome. The outer walls ripple gracefully, the colored flash of multi-megawatt entertainment pulses from inside, and the front plaza reaches out to yank the public in. If Madison Square Garden hunkers glumly in its concrete drum, Barclays Center is an architectural chest bump: juiced, genial, and aggressive all at once.

    The arena lies relatively low on the skyline, its tanned hues a camouflage against the borough’s palette of brownstone and brick. From a couple of quiet residential blocks away, you might not even suspect it was there. But it’s hardly self-effacing. On game nights, the crowds will well up through the subway portal and flow across the plaza and into the arena’s glittering maw, passing beneath a canopy that is the arena’s most brilliantly extroverted move. The vast overhang pivots on one leg and swoops around, describing an opening vast enough for a blue whale to slip through. Light pours through; so does rain, which under the right conditions will form a mighty pillar of water. The hole’s inner perimeter is lined with a screen, which means that the hyperactive digital spectacle turns inward, rather than blaring gaudily at the city. Barclays Center was built as an excitement factory, and even if the Nets sag, there will be plenty of times like the two nights in mid-October when the team is away and 18,000 Barbra Streisand fans converge on Flatbush Avenue.

    The arena is the first piece of the tormented Atlantic Yards development, and for those who remember, it’s full of promises and might-have-beens. Frank Gehry originally conceived it to nestle within a ring of wavy towers. The developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, scrapped that design when the recession hit and, in its place, offered up an off-the-shelf plan by the sports-facility specialists Ellerbe Becket that would have produced a sibling to the dreary Atlantic Center shopping mall next door.

    The more artistically ambitious outfit SHoP was brought in a few months later to collaborate, and while it looked at first as if the firm’s job was to dress up a dud, it has managed to do much more. The arena won’t placate those who all along hated the idea of Atlantic Yards. It won’t erase the years of controversy and bad blood, or guarantee the success of the remaining acres. But Brooklynites of more recent vintage and fewer bitter memories may see a building endowed with texture, color, and personality — rare qualities in recent New York construction.

    The preweathered-steel carapace represents a triumph of computer-driven customization and intricate geometries — no two of the roughly 12,000 panels are quite the same — yet its feel is grainy and hand-tooled. The steel wears a permanent patina of rust, which protects against further decay, although the panels may be more capricious than anyone was expecting. Some are darker than they should be; others are streaked with erratic drips. Damaged or defective panels may be replaced, but the effect will never be uniform. Water and time will blur some kinds of unevenness and magnify others.

    That’s part of the attraction of weathered steel: It feels simultaneously permanent and changeable, like a canyon in mid-*erosion. The sculptor Richard Serra bends it into great walls that lean and spiral unnervingly, provoking mixtures of anxiety and attraction. The same material is often used in large plates on small buildings, in ornamental accents on large ones, or, in the case of the U.S. Steel Tower in Pittsburgh or the Ford Foundation Building on East 42nd Street, as outward emblems of structural brawn. At Barclays Center, it has multiple personalities: a self-supporting shell, a decorative wrap, and the bearer of the building’s soul.

    For all its swagger, the arena makes nice to the neighbors in various ways. It offers virtually no new parking, which means fans will arrive by public transit or not at all. The ground floor is lined with stores that open toward the sidewalk. To avoid clogging roadways, trucks swing into the Dean Street loading docks and ride elevators to a massive underground turntable that positions them in their respective bays. Eventually, a trio of residential towers, also designed by SHoP, will fence the arena in and hide the less refined sections. Out front, the subway exit has a rolling roof furred with greenery, and benches disguise the security barriers around the landscaped plaza, so that the public can idle away a lunch hour by the torrents of traffic. The scoreboard is always visible from that plaza, and there’s something touchingly quaint about the idea that fans left outside in the cold would check for live updates by peering inside rather than simply glancing down at their phones.

    Inside, the space is darkly chic and startlingly intimate. The courtside plutocrats’ clubs are laid out so that guests can practically smell the players’ sweat as they head for the locker rooms — the ultimate in insider privilege. Hoi polloi can nurse their cocktails at bar rails that look over the pale-wood court, which pops fetchingly against the graphite-gray interior. Along the concourses, thin stripes of cold white light slice across the ceiling, giving the corridors an ominous chic, like the headquarters of a high-tech James Bond villain. But fans can never forget what borough they’re in: Wide ribbons of glass give out onto the low-rise cityscape and the majestic tower of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank.

    Back outside, pacing the perimeter, admiring the thick metal skin and the massive truss it hangs on, I wonder how accurately SHoP’s architects foresaw the overbearing expanse of rusted metal, or whether they really intended the aura of apocalyptic menace. From certain angles and at close-enough quarters, the building could be the footing of an ancient iron bridge, an abandoned parking structure, or the shell of a great robotic reptile. There’s something radically revivalist about taking the concept of industrial chic to such an extreme. We’re still not done converting the backlog of ancient factories and disused power plants into condos and museums, and already we’re creating para-ruins, buildings that seem recycled even when they’re new.

    *This article appears in the October 1, 2012 issue of New York Magazine.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer...ys-center.html
    Last edited by ZippyTheChimp; January 16th, 2013 at 11:22 PM. Reason: Fixed paragraphs

  5. #3545

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    Bruce Ratner’s modular tower violates city building rules: suit

    Plumbers group says pre-fab units are being built by unlicensed workers. Ratner says union workers are doing all the construction.

    By Reuven Blau / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 12:59 PM
    Updated: Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 4:46 PM





    Joe Marino/for New York Daily News

    Modular units like these, which will be stacked into a 32-story tower next to the Barclays Center, are being built by unlicensed workers, a violation of city rules, a new lawsuit charges.

    Developer Bruce Ratner's plan to build pre-fab apartment buildings at his Atlantic Yards complex dangerously ignores key building safety rules, union workers charge in a bombshell lawsuit.
    The Plumbing Foundation claims in its suit that the Building Department is wrongly allowing Ratner to build the first phase of the $4.9 billion, 15-building residential and commercial project without using licensed plumbers and fire suppression contractors.

    Because Ratner is using pre-fabricated — or modular — units, more than 60% of the construction of the project surrounding the Barclays Center is expected to be completed off-site.
    The modules currently being built at the Brooklyn Naval Yard includes plumbing, gas and sprinkler piping for the world's tallest modular building, a 32-story residential structure named B2, slated to rise at Dean St. and Flatbush Ave.
    But that construction is not being done by licensed workers, a violation of the city's strict building Administrative Code, according to the lawsuit.

    But a spokesman for Ratner’s development company, Forest City Ratner, disputed the charge in the suit, filed late Wednesday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
    “It's false and they know it,” he said.

    RELATED: ATLANTIC YARDS TOWER TO BE MODULAR
    The work in the factory is being done by union labor and overseen by a licensed engineer. The work does not entail attaching any plumbing or electrical systems.
    “The units are then delivered to the building and installed, and all plumbing connections are made by licensed plumbers,” the spokesman continued.

    But the plumbing trade group contends all the work should be done by licensed plumbers.
    "It's a dangerous path we walk down when the city appears to be willing to circumvent the clear words of the law so that wealthy and influential developers can make a few extra dollars by using lower paid and untrained assembly line workers," said Steward O'Brien, executive director of the plumbing foundation.
    Forest City Ratner

    The final building will be at Flatbush Ave. and Dean St.


    The group's 39-page lawsuit is seeking to force the Bloomberg administration to enforce the Construction Code. The litigation could delay the long-anticipated first building, which is expected to be completed by next summer.
    The city has considered the issues raised by the lawsuit. In December 2011, Buildings Department officials met with the plumbing group and other licensed trade organizations to discuss the project. The city later concluded that licensed plumbers weren't needed at the off-site location.


  6. #3546

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    Everyone had to know the unions were going to go to war over this. It's a great way to cut them out of the picture.

    Edit: Actually they could hire a couple of licensed plumbers to supervise and inspect the work. That should satisfy the building codes. Not everyone who touches the plumbing has to be licensed. And you don't have to be in the union to be licensed either.
    Last edited by BBMW; July 15th, 2013 at 12:41 PM.

  7. #3547
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    Where's the ****ing lawsuit to finally do something about extortion rackets (unions) being mandatory for city contracts

  8. #3548
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    For the first time I saw Barclay's in person last week and it surpassed my impressions from renderings and photos. I love it.

  9. #3549
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    Quote Originally Posted by mariab View Post
    Bruce Ratner’s modular tower violates city building rules: suit
    "The suit, however, may not get very far in court because the trade groups appear to lack standing to pursue the case, says Eric Su, an industry attorney with New York-based Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

    That is because the building code sections at issue are intended to protect the prospective occupants and the neighbors of the building under construction. "The [licensed trade] groups themselves are not placed in imminent danger by the interpretation of the building code by the city DOB and its commissioner, so they lack standing to bring this case on that basis," says Su, who is not involved in the case.

    Also, the suit seeks to enforce certain sections of the building code or to have the court interpret them, but it is the DOB and LiMandri, "and not New York State courts," that have that job, Su says.

    He adds that the DOB and LiMandri will likely seek to have the suit dismissed for lack of standing.
    "

    http://newyork.construction.com/new_...ular-tower.asp

  10. #3550
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    This probably needs its own thread, but is related:

    Inwood gets the city’s first prefabricated apartment building
    Broadway Stack, a 28-unit modular building, is just the first of many to come.

    BY LAIGNEE BARRON / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    PUBLISHED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, 2013, 6:43 PM
    UPDATED: THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2013, 6:53 PM






    By the end of the summer, uptowners can live in a Lego house: the city’s first concrete and steel, multi-story prefabricated building. Broadway Stack is a 28-unit moderate-income apartment complex built with 56 prefabricated modules. The modules were assembled off-site in a former subway car factory and then shipped to Inwood, where they are being stacked to form a seven-story tower.

    “It’s an exciting alternative method of construction,” said Stack’s architect Peter Gluck. “As the country urbanizes there is more and more need for modern and low-cost housing, and this one response.” Prefabricated, modular construction is having a New York “It” moment. In Brooklyn, Bruce Ratner has broken ground on a SHoP Architect-designed modular building that would be the world’s tallest. Work is also in progress for nARCHITECTS’ My Micro NY, the winner of Mayor Bloomberg’s contest for ergonomically designed apartments.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/...icle-1.1408115

  11. #3551
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    Some structural steel for the modular tower is above ground.

  12. #3552
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    It doesn't look bad!

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  14. #3554
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    ^Sheer elegance backdropped against rustic elegance.

  15. #3555
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    Rust-ic?

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