The Brooklyn Navy Yard (BNY) is a central part of New York’s long and elaborate history with stories of having hosted some of the most famous and infamous sea-worthy ships dating back to 1625.

In recent times the BNY has become the city’s flagship industrial park and a true economic success story. Designating one of the original buildings on the grounds to share this story—the BNY Center at Building 92—was an important project for the city. The environmental footprint of Building 92 was also of utmost concern to all those involved in the planning and design. The building was built to LEED platinum standards, so great attention was given to every aspect of the materials and design.

A Natural Solution

The new building is a modular structure with precast structural slabs on all floors. The approximately 13,000 square feet of slabs used a finished flooring solution right out of the bag— 1/2-inch CTS TRU self-leveling floor topping/resurfacer—that was then ground and polished. The finished flooring solution was selected by the architects and owners and was specified for use with no pigments or stains added.

Approximately 150 square feet of preliminary on-site samples were completed in March of 2011. Upon approval in July 2011, the prep work began on the slabs’ surface cracks and joints.

After profiling the floor, a 100% solids epoxy primer was installed with sand broadcast to ensure maximum bond. Each floor was then poured using a FloorMate batch-pump from Strong Mfg., Inc., Pine Bluff, Ariz., which works well with the TRU product. The self-leveling product was screened from the batch mixer to the pump to ensure a consistent, spot-free surface, and as a result, the product exhibited excellent flow and required very little tooling.

“The client liked the natural ‘out of the bag’ look which also made it less complicated by not having to worry about integral pigments or topically applied stains,” said Matt Johnson, president, Green Earth Floors, Tuckahoe, N.Y. “The TRU self-leveling product allowed the grinding process to begin the very next day due to its fast set and cure time and there were no concerns about the possibility of cracking or displacing.”

The topping was brought up to an 800 grit finish before sealing. Saw cuts were also installed at designated locations to minimize cracking. The clients were very happy with the finished product as it had lived up to the look and feel of the sample that was placed earlier.

The product was also used on 285 stair threads as a 1/2-inch topping to a partially filled concrete metal pan.

“This allowed us to give them a finished surface requiring no sealer as they were not ground, thus leaving the natural wearing skin on top,” said Johnson.

A Successful Combination

The pour process on Building 92 was finished at the end of September 2011 and with no wait time needed for the grind and polish, the project was completed on schedule.

“We have used TRU on many other projects and find it has the right combination of attributes for achieving the needs of our clients as well as increasing our all-important bottom line,” said Johnson.

Building 92 was designed to be a new, modern four-story exhibition and visitors center married to an existing masonry structure which received a complete restoration. The BNY itself is a modern industrial park within the historical setting. Spread out over 300 acres on the Brooklyn waterfront, it includes 40 buildings, three fully functioning dry docks, four active piers, and a variety of businesses.

The BNY is built on a history of success and has kept with that tradition by choosing the products and contractors who each bring their own history and success to the project.

Ken Vallens is the vice president of Product Development/Engineering Sales at CTS Cement Mfg. Corp./Rapid Set Products. For more information about products mentioned in this article, visit