Most goods in a modern society are manufactured in factories. They are objects that are formed and assembled in a factory, either by automated processes such as precision machinery and robots, or by skilled factory workers, or both.
We design often elaborate processes to increase the speed and efficiency with which goods are created. This allows for production on a mass scale, lowering overall costs and making goods more widely available for lower prices.
We see the many advantages of manufacturing goods such as appliances, tools, computers, phones, cars, foods, and more. But why don’t we see so many manufactured buildings?
Well, as I ask that question, we are seeing more and more manufactured buildings being built. But why not sooner? You’d think someone would have thought to start manufacturing buildings a while ago, being as how the manufacturing process has been around for a very long time.
Prefabricated buildings have been around since the early 1900’s, but these types of buildings had their own class and weren’t necessary mainstream, though they were used extensively around WW2 to meet housing needs.
Possibly, it just took time for the technology to develop to be able to mass produce an actual building. Though buildings aren’t yet built and mass produced like cars are, they are being built much more efficiently than before, using similar principles as those in manufacturing.
Today’s manufactured buildings are built in components in factories. They feature units that are manufactured and then shipped to a build site where they are put together. Sometimes smaller buildings are assembled at the factory and shipped whole.
This greatly cuts down on construction time and increases efficiency. Not only are resources being more efficiently used in a controlled environment, but buildings are manufactured and put together without risk of being ruined or delayed by severe weather conditions, or other adverse environmental conditions.
Costs can also be cut. Due to the more efficient use of materials and labor, these savings translate in lower costs.
Perhaps we can look forward to a day when buildings can simply be mass produced like cars or appliances. They can be built quickly and efficiently for whatever purpose they are needed, whether it is housing, retail, education, etc. Machinery can be adjusted to produce different results, or we can just take a modular approach: manufacture simpler, self-sufficient units that can be combined to form different buildings for different purposes. So many possibilities!