The East Village is turning into an incubator for innovative preparations for the sequel to Hurricane Sandy.
First, owners of a low- and moderate-income, six-story apartment building at 334 East Eighth Street took the extraordinary step of putting a new boiler on the roof, after its basement boiler was destroyed in the 2012 storm. Then Village East Towers, an affordable 434-unit Mitchell-Lama co-op at Avenue C and East 10th Street, won a $10 million grant to pay for flood barriers, an elevated electricity cogeneration system, and more. And now Haven Plaza, an affordable housing tower a few blocks away, has won its own $10 million grant to build an elevated “disaster-resilient” building that will house three boilers, electrical meters, water pumps and heaters, and a backup oil supply in waterproof tanks.
"The new facility addresses Haven Plaza’s need to be self-sufficient during both regular operations and in case of a natural disaster, instead of relying on a costly ConEd steam supply," says Daniel Allen, principal of CTA Architects, as reported by DNAinfo.
When flooding ignited an explosion at the nearby Con Edison East River Generating Station during the 2012 hurricane, Haven Plaza residents were without electricity, heat, water or elevator service.
Ground has been broken on the new two-story building, which will be elevated five feet above ground – above the flood plain, in case of another disastrous storm. The project is funded by the city's Department of Housing Preservation & Development and Housing Development Corporation as part of the Build it Back program, which was launched to help repair properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
The rest of the complex will also get a host of upgrades to make it more resilient. For instance, electrical equipment located near ground-level will be elevated to protect it from flooding, while elevators will be fitted with "flood sensors" so they will automatically move upwards when water is detected.
The entire project is slated for completion in 2018.
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