Bernard M. Baruch Houses – the largest New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) development in Manhattan – is comprised of 18 residential towers housing over 5,600 residents. Completed in 1959, the 28-acre campus occupies prime real estate in the now-burgeoning Lower East Side.
We were asked by NYCHA to consider the long-term resilience of this development, as a model for reconceiving how NYCHA organizes and maintains their building portfolio.
Construction is underway for a new elevated central heating plant and out-buildings at all residential towers in the FEMA A-Zone. Also included is 100% backup electrical generator to allow the entire campus to go off-grid during peak usage, new entry plazas and renovated lobbies at all residential towers, a 4,500 ft. bench and planted berm flood wall, campus-wide LED site lighting, security upgrades and CCTV and the reorganization of common space, parking and gardens to improve security. The buildings on the eastern half of the property will be protected by a system of building entryway flood barriers that automatically deploy during a storm event.