NYC Housing Authority - Superstorm Sandy Coney Island Houses

During Superstorm Sandy, various New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments experienced an influx of surge water, which consequently damaged the mechanical and electrical infrastructure of the buildings. The damages included building infrastructure, playgrounds, and walkways. This project required the design services for the restoration of the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems damaged by the storm and associated architectural and structural work to harden building perimeter.

LiRo is currently working with NYCHA to restore and enhance a total of 57 buildings at the following seven (7) housing developments:

  • Jacob Riis I Houses
  • Jacob Riis II Houses
  • Lillian Wald Houses
  • Campos Plaza II
  • East River Houses
  • Ralph J. Rangel Houses
  • Coney Island Houses

As part of an agency wide assessment effort, LiRo assessed all of the buildings within the seven developments and generated design development options for direct replacement and/or mitigation to raise the equipment above the FEMA flood elevations. NYCHA was able to utilize this documentation for each affected building for FEMA funding submissions.

In addition to designing the restoration of building infrastructure, LiRo completed the design of onsite standby power generators and hardening of the buildings' electrical infrastructure to provide the residents with utilities in the event of an extended power outage as experienced post-Hurricane Sandy.

As an example of LiRo's work, a detailed description of the services we performed at Coney Island Houses is provided below.

LiRo provided design services that detail the work required to restore and rehabilitate Coney Island Houses at 3110 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn. Built in 1957, the complex consists of five, 14-story buildings with 534 apartments. LiRo has also designed a new community center/central boiler building. The original boiler plant was located in the basement of one of the buildings.

The new elevated Community Center/Central Boiler Plant is being constructed above the flood plain at an elevation of 11 ft above the established Brooklyn Datum. Handicap accessibility is provided by incorporating ramps with in the sloping landscape allowing it to blend in for a seamless and natural progression from grade to the facility.

The community center is situated on site to give the development a sense of place and act as a central identification point for its occupants and the adjoining community. The facade incorporates glass wall systems that are rated for storm level forces but allows for an unobstructed connection with the enhanced landscaping and park like setting within the redeveloped site. The plantings are a diversion from the normal site scape of public housing projects. The design encourages communal interface by inviting the neighborhood to interact/ process through the site along landscaped promenades. The plantings reduce the heat gain to the adjacent buildings all while maintaining security and sightline visibility.

Services Provided

Disaster Preparedness & Response Services

Construction Management

Remedial Investigation


MEP Engineering