It’s interesting how the explosion in technological advances in the modular building industry coincided with the rising global awareness of the green movement. Coincidence? Act of fate? Or maybe it couldn’t have been otherwise…
Whatever the case, the fact of the matter is that we are now painfully aware of the human impact on the ecosystem and the environment in general. Climate changes due to global warming, energy shortages, depleting fresh water stores, collapsing ecosystems, and other environmental problems have been made fully present in today’s public awareness. In the last 30 years, the picture painted by these problems was pretty bleak. Basically, corporations were recklessly destroying the environment in pursuit of profit, and the general character of mankind was seen to be squandering natural resources daily, natural resources that we took for granted but that wouldn’t be around for much longer. Soon the earth would be an inhospitable wasteland and we would be obliterated.
However, that’s not the picture we see today. The green movement has reached a critical stage in which businesses and concerned individuals have embraced environmentalism and the pursuit of green technology. Whereas in the past, going green was seen as expensive and impractical and was resisted, today going green is seen as actually profitable and cost-saving and a necessary pursuit for the good of our future generations. We are beginning to see the development of a bright, optimistic view of our environment and the future. Population growth is stabilizing and the existing population is more aware of human effect on the environment than ever.
Instead of just advancing for the sake of advancing, modern technology is advancing carefully, taking care not to “tread all over the grass.” Technology is now green-oriented, focusing on energy conservation, efficiency, and waste elimination. Modern technological advances are not only focusing on human benefit, as they were before, but balancing that with environmental benefit and doing a great job of managing the two while still bounding forward, in my opinion. That’s brilliance right there.
Modern modular construction is a big part of the green technology movement, seeing as how construction waste makes up more than 30% of landfill waste. With the reusability and recyclability of modular systems, construction waste could be virtually eliminated if modular construction advances as the standard method of construction. Modular systems are made from completely recyclable materials, which helps. But one of the greenest aspects of modular buildings is their reusability. If you build a modular building intended to carry out a certain function out of universal, modular parts, you can break those parts down and rearrange the parts to build another building that can carry out a completely different function.
This is a profound advantage that carries benefits that are two-fold. Not only are you cutting down on waste from having to destroy a building and dispose of the debris, but you are saving on the energy and resources that it takes to construct a whole other building. This is an elegant solution to construction waste if I don’t say so myself, and a sign of the beginnings of a new, bright age of clean, green technology.