Modular Designers, Advancing Technology and Future Responsibilities

 Abstract

“The average life expectancy for some components has increased during the past 35 years because of new products and the introduction of new technologies, while the average life of others has declined.” National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Cited from “The Study Life Expectancy of Home Components” a 5-year-old white paper authored in a partnership between the NAHB and the Home Equity arm of Bank of America right before the burst of the economic bubble. Within that paper, comparison studies are made between multiple aspects of private home costs, including available inventories of existing homes, new home construction, appliances, et al. To that degree, the current inventories of existing homes has reached the proportions of a glut on the market, and considered the largest factor determining “BUY OR BUILD” choices.

The viewpoint from this post compares the similarities between today’s home construction market and those existing at the advent of the record construction boom period beginning in 1995. At the U.S Census Bureau’s Building Permit data page one can see how the economy was then recovering from, by comparison, a mild recession.  The impact of increased construction is cited as a major engine in driving that recovery.

Designers, manufacturers and building contractors employing modular construction design may use many of factors identified during that last increased construction era as leverage to increased Return On Investment (ROI) activities during the first boom of the 21st century.

Functional Design, Practicality and Climatic Change

“Although newly constructed homes are getting bigger, most inventory is existing homes, including foreclosures, and the current inventory of for-sale homes skews smaller than most people’s idea…Meanwhile, the super-sized category –3,200-plus–is pretty much on the money, but the majority of available homes fall in the smaller size categories–800 to 2,000 square feet. That means many Americans may have to downsize their dreams to fit a smaller reality.”  3 Spending And Saving Mantras The Recession Turned Upside-Down

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From Business Insider’s contributing author Catherine Hill.  In this March 2013 article, Hill also derides homes over 3,000 square feet in size with the MACMANSION epithet, and both those and their owners as “so 2006”.  At this time, just three short months later, existing home sales of these larger sized dwellings has undergone a remarkable rebound with much of the “underwater” loan status removed. And if still not profitable to boom time comparisons, at least the short sales are no longer debilitating. Many of the detriments of the large-scaled homes remain however, utility costs and severe weather survivability among them.

Experience, Design Tools and Commitment

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all victims befallen by the sudden catastrophic tornado tragedies occurring in Moore, Oklahoma; Joplin, Missouri and Tuscaloosa, Alabama over the last three years. It is our responsibility as designers, manufacturers and contractors to use the consider technology available to us in the providing the next generation homes in rapidly changing climactic weather patterns.

In addition to state-of-the art technology, members within the community of modular designers, manufacturers and contractors have shared in their personal experiences of catastrophic weather. Modular construction communities are assets to the whole world.  Through efforts of experienced professionals throughout our community; properties and communities have been rebuilt and lives restored.

These professionals share their expertise with scientists in the development and evolution of building codes from which the entire industry’s requirements are standardized. Our tools are being used in the design and deployment of modules retrofitting historic structures and providing the advanced buildings for the future.

Mike Sharkey – Design Professional

Gould Design, Inc.