Several more articles have come up pertaining to the increasing modularization of our construction industry. This is a theme we have been talking about for a while now. Simply put, the concept of modular design is permeating our understanding of manufacturing and construction and the process of building and producing items of utility. The flexibility, adaptability, and efficiency of a modular design is quickly making it the dominant mode of productive thought in this increasingly complex and fast paced society.
The first article has to do with how modular design benefits those looking to build central utility facilities, or facilities that produce utilities such as chilled air, heat, compressed air, and steam for a larger complex like an academic institution or medical complex. The article does a good job of laying out the benefits of modular design, such as increased efficiency and adaptability, while arguing that modular design can help infrastructure development in myriad ways, and consequently our society. The article is of longer length, but well worth a read for those interested in modular design from an engineering perspective.
The second article deals with the U.S. Navy’s increased demand for the flexibility and adaptability of a modular ship design, explaining how modular ship designs are more efficient and cost effective.
One underlying theme we can take away from reading all of these articles is that the very nature of material change is evolving. Previously, we would have new iterations of a product, making the previous one obsolete and destined for the trash bin. Now, we see that technological change will come through the components themselves, and we can gradually update a building or ship design by replacing older parts over a longer period of time without having to waste all of the energy of throwing something out and building something completely new. By compartmentalizing change itself, we are making our own processes more efficient, and cutting down on unnecessary waste.
Quite a development!