A Prefab Prototype for Disaster-Relief Housing

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May 13, 2014
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  Plans for three-bedroom units designed by Garrison Architects to facilitate families displaced by a man-made or natural disaster. The units will be tested in Brooklyn and designed with environmental and insulation system modifications to fit any urban city in the country. Photo courtesy Garrison Architects.
    Plans for three-bedroom units designed by Garrison Architects to facilitate families displaced by a man-made or natural disaster. The units will be tested in Brooklyn and designed with environmental and insulation system modifications to fit any urban city in the country. Photo courtesy Garrison Architects.
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  To make the design universal, the first thing the architects did was to "make a unit that a wheelchair bound person can use completely. The kitchen, the bath, the bedroom are all accessible, the way the living and kitchen are arranged, a small communal table, built-in storage, and a small terrace to keep the living room open and provide an outdoor extenuation and privacy," says principal James Garrison. "It's better designed and more comfortable than typically in New York!" Photo courtesy Garrison Architects.
    To make the design universal, the first thing the architects did was to "make a unit that a wheelchair bound person can use completely. The kitchen, the bath, the bedroom are all accessible, the way the living and kitchen are arranged, a small communal table, built-in storage, and a small terrace to keep the living room open and provide an outdoor extenuation and privacy," says principal James Garrison. "It's better designed and more comfortable than typically in New York!" Photo courtesy Garrison Architects.
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  The Disaster Housing Prototype is conditioned with a volume of electric, efficient heat comps, run without fossil fuels, electricity-generating photovoltaics, and comes close to being completely net-zero. Photo courtesy Garrison Architects.
    The Disaster Housing Prototype is conditioned with a volume of electric, efficient heat comps, run without fossil fuels, electricity-generating photovoltaics, and comes close to being completely net-zero. Photo courtesy Garrison Architects.
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  There are 8 apartments per stairway, 25% of which are handicap accessible, "more than typically provided in urban culture", says Garrison. Gardens, bike racks, and ample walkways in front and behind the housing create easy resident accessibility and an instant coziness for evacuees. Photo courtesy Garrison Architects.
    There are 8 apartments per stairway, 25% of which are handicap accessible, "more than typically provided in urban culture", says Garrison. Gardens, bike racks, and ample walkways in front and behind the housing create easy resident accessibility and an instant coziness for evacuees. Photo courtesy Garrison Architects.
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  "It was erected in one and a half days; the modulars went up in one day, the stairs went up the next," Garrison says. The construction process can be viewed in a video on Garrison's blog. Photo by Josef Samuel.
    "It was erected in one and a half days; the modulars went up in one day, the stairs went up the next," Garrison says. The construction process can be viewed in a video on Garrison's blog. Photo by Josef Samuel.
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  The prefabrication process cuts a typical 18-month build in half as Garrison prepares the modulars in the factory. Utilities like the plumbing and HVAC systems are also completed in the factory. Photo by Josef Samuel.
    The prefabrication process cuts a typical 18-month build in half as Garrison prepares the modulars in the factory. Utilities like the plumbing and HVAC systems are also completed in the factory. Photo by Josef Samuel.
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