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Breakthrough Building is Assembled Like an Airplane Engine

In Brooklyn's Navy Yard, the largest modular high-rise building in the world is being assembled one floor at a time by teams of 10 to 15 union workers. Sydney Brownstone tours the milestone in modular construction.

"Modular assembly is often compared to the kind of line assembly popularized by Henry Ford's T-Birds, but B2 is actually being constructed by a different process altogether. Instead of individual workers putting together piecemeal parts, FCS Modular and its Swedish partner Skanska decided on using a system called 'group technology workcells,' in which multidisciplinary groups of cross-trained tradesmen work on different parts of the floor simultaneously. It's the same way airplane engines are constructed, Roger Krulak, a senior vice president at Forest City Ratner (FCR), explains."

"Because of innovations like these, FCR claims to have 'cracked the code' to modular building on a new scale," writes Brownstone. "The company says that B2 will be built in 18 months, or two-thirds the time it would take for conventional construction." 

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