With the Atlantic Yards project running behind schedule, developer Forest City Ratner is still looking at modular construction, or prefabricated buildings, as a way to speed things up and cut costs, according to last week’s report in the New York Observer.
The interest began when Bruce Ratner saw a YouTube video of a 15-story hotel in China being erected in two days.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal crunched some numbers and found that Forest City Ratner has spent $3.5 million on research and development for this type of prefab construction. The Observer dug that bit up, too, and wondered how Ratner plans on cutting costs by spending more money.
Though the Observer is hesitant to accuse Ratner of using prefab , reporter Matt Chaban writes, “a few million could be but a drop in the bucket if it means bigger labor saving on the future of the site.”
A five percent savings on the $5 billion project through labor negotiations could mean about $250 million in savings, so even if the developer spends $50 million researching modular construction, Ratner will still be saving money, according to the report.