Modular Construction & its Henry Ford Syndrome

Few topics in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry are more polarising than modular construction. On the one hand, those for modular construction will talk at you at length about the need to modernise or die. McKinsey & Company reports are cited. Analogies with the automotive industry are made. And channelling their inner Henry Ford, standardise, standardise, standardise goes the beat of the drum. Architects are considered superfluous and an unnecessary nuisance and expense. Mass production is the answer. Give us volume, and we’ll fix the AEC industry. And on the way, we’ll solve the housing crisis. Standardisation + Volume = Progress.

On the other hand, those against modular construction dismiss it as a cookie-cutter path to mediocrity. Soleless, sterile and generic. Cheap and flimsy. A solution to the wrong problem. Contractual and professional liability constraints are cited. The belief that every project is different is upheld like an…

Read more