Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

adAPT NYC Winner Coming to Manhattan Soon

It’s been nearly two years since the winner of the adAPT NYC competition–the city’s pilot program for micro-housing–was announced. The winner, dubbed ‘My Micro NY’ and helmed by nArchitects and Monadnock Development, is to be a 9 story, 54 unit building in the Kips Bay Neighborhood of Manhattan. Beside the small size of its units (250 to 370 sq ft), the building is innovative in its use of prefabricated construction.

Theoretically, prefab construction boasts a number of advantages over conventional building. Systematizing construction allows for perfecting processes and avoiding snags that often beset one-off construction. Perhaps more importantly, building in an indoor, controlled space helps mitigate many site and climate unknowns that can delay construction.

This theory didn’t pan out across the East River at B2 in Brooklyn, which, at 32 stories, will be the tallest prefab building in the world. The project has been beset by construction, engineering and budgetary problems, extending the initial 18 month projected turnaround to four years.

But nine stories is a lot different than 32 and a recent article in The Atlantic gives no indication of problems with My Micro and says the units will be put in place later this winter. They will come virtually move-in ready from their manufacturing facilities in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, trucked into Manhattan and stacked on top of one another with a crane. Transforming furniture will be sold separately.

My Micro is a great symbol of the city’s willingness to seek out solutions for its housing shortage. Unfortunately, a 54 unit symbol will not make much of an impact in the big scheme of things. The city still has the same minimum size requirements it did two years ago (400 sq ft in most places) and still has laws that stymy adding density and providing affordable housing options–e.g. it’s illegal for more than three non-related individuals to share a house. We hope the De Blasio administration will pick up Bloomberg’s small-space-housing-advocacy baton, leading to more smart, affordable housing and fewer symbols.

  • Susan Hogan

    My question is: with these units how do you keep the sound down between neighbors? Sound board can only do so much and I don’t see that they are made of concrete – are they? I enjoy quiet but I know others like too be surrounded by the sound of music.

    • David Friedlander

      i’m pretty sure they have provisions for this. most modular units like these are very soundproof, given that each unit has top and bottom structures, which create a massive barrier between units. in normal construction, the upstairs floor is your ceiling.

      • IIlI

        no that is not true. my upstairs floor has a space in between my ceiling and the tenant’s floor. i am sure sound issues will be a problem in these units. i for one love peace and quiet at home especially when i am sleeping. nothing matters more to me in life than sleep because that dictates everything else – how well i work, how i feel physically, and science has shown (proven) that lack of sleep increases appetite and weight gain and causes other health problems.

  • IIlI

    what will be the cost? is it affordable? i love this idea. then again, millions of ppl. live in the city. i live in brooklyn new york and rental housing always fills up. simple one bedroom 400 sq. ft. apt.’s here are quarter million bucks. no thanks. i rather rent but renting is tough. apt’s are hard to find and they are always old (the new condos are too expensive) and filled with roaches and mice unless you are willing to pay 2k to live in a condo that is new. park slope and willamsburg costs about double where i live. 2 grand for a small studio at park slope in an old building. unbelievable. these units can help people out.

  • sugarntasty

    Pre-fab housing saving upon, cost or lost to whom? Micro-housing not resolution to rising cost…favored upon material of construction. Land preference not increase density,rather use single tenant camps. Failure need “renters repeal” never disapproved REITS,high rise antics why imbalance. Housing is crisis rise “Americans” homeless ballots we go paradox building micro-housing. Cost best material highest prices, haven’t reduce.