Completely Furnished NYC Disaster Housing Deploys In 15 Hours

Completely Furnished NYC Disaster Housing Deploys In 15 Hours

Garrison Architects designed a modular post-disaster housing prototype meant for emergency response.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 25 june 2014

Brooklyn-based firm Garrison Architects is currently testing a modular housing prototype that can be used to shelter displaced New York City residents in the event of disasters like Hurricane Sandy and Katrina.

The architecture firm was hired by American Manufactured Structures and Services (AMSS), who won the building contract from the US Army Corps of Engineers. The modular post-disaster housing prototype was developed for the New York City Office of Emergency Management.

Garrison Architects designed a multi-story, multi-family housing model that can be deployed in no more than 15 hours and arranged in different ways depending on needs. The prototype is designed to be flexible and easy to deploy in any public space, vacant lot or private yards. The modules can be easily transported to a site and installed with utilities. They can be stacked in rows like shipping containers or set up in between existing buildings and structures. The modular units are also designed to meet US zoning requirements, which means their use is not limited to New York City.


James Garrison, Principal of Garrison Architects, said,

This prototype is preceded by more than 6 years of research by the City of New York into emergency housing. Aside from the basics of providing shelter after a disaster, the prototype is innovative because it allows residents to remain within their communities instead of being displaced for months, or even years. “Shelter in place” allows residents to maintain their support networks – their friends and their families. Keeping neighborhoods intact is crucial for successful rebuilding.

The modular units come in one- and three-bedroom configurations and include a living area, a fully-equipped kitchen, a bathroom, and storage space. The modules are also made with recyclable materials, double insulation, integrated solar shading, and even built with photovoltaic panels to make them self-sustaining.

The modular housing prototype is currently being tested on the corner of Cadman Plaza East and Red Cross Place. Five modules were fabricated by Mark Line Industries in Indiana, and then transported to and installed in New York City by AMSS. The prototype will stay there for a year or two as they undergo occupancy tests. People will be invited to live in the units for intervals of five days to test how it is to live in the housing prototype full time.


Garrison Architects

Images: © Andrew Rugge/archphoto

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