Sustainable modular buildings open along New York's beaches

New York City beach buildings
CC BY-NC 3.0 Margaret Badore

Designed and built at a breakneck pace, prefab comfort stations by Garrison Architects opened this weekend in time for Memorial Day. The restrooms, lifeguard stations and offices were designed to replace structures washed away by Hurricane Sandy in October.

Despite a construction fence and yellow tape, a steady stream of beach goers strolled the ramps to the new restrooms at Coney Island. Reminiscent of a 1950's vacation trailer, the buildings' retro-feel seems at home on a beach that has been a leisure destination for generations.

modular building for New York beachesMargaret Badore/CC BY-NC 3.0

Two lifeguard stations were in place, but not yet open for use. Until they're ready, lifeguards have been using older structures not destroyed by the storm this October. Nineteen of the 37 units at 15 locations were slated to open this weekend.

The powerful surge from Sandy caused much of the damage along the coast. The new structures are elevated to be more resilient, because sea levels are expected to rise and destructive storms like Sandy are predicted to occur more frequently.

Garrison also designed the buildings to minimize energy consumption. According to Garrison Architects' website, the buildings have solar roof panels, are naturally lit and can be ventilated via windows and skylights.
prefabricated lifeguard stationMargaret Badore/CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Sustainable modular buildings open along New York's beaches
Prefabricated buildings from Garrison Architects open for Memorial Day.