Modular architecture is also known as component-oriented design. This design approach is an architectural style that concentrates on the use of modular components that can be added or removed at any time without changing the structure of the home.
Modular architecture helps in achieving greater flexibility because of the fact that different parts of a structure can be changed at different locations without affecting the relationship between them. This means that you can add or remove windows and doors without affecting the main structure of your house. The origin of modular architecture can be traced back to the late nineteenth century.
The Field of Integral Architecture
Modular architecture is an offshoot of the field of integral architecture. While the former focuses on the layout of the building, the latter is more concerned with the functional elements of the building. While the former emphasizes placement of the primary structure on a fixed site, the latter seeks freedom of design by allowing the building to be rearranged on a semi-permanent or permanent basis. While both have to do with the efficient utilization of space, the focus on the arrangement of the internal and external interfaces of the house shows Modular Architecture’s distinct advantage.
Origin of Modular Architecture
The origin of modular architecture can be traced back to the era of the Viennese school of architecture, which sought to rework traditional designs. By combining open spaces and disciplined structures, the Viennese school was able to create highly functional living space that was highly flexible.
This was later adopted by the modernists as well. Their emphasis on functionalism meant that the entire home was linked together, which made it highly adaptable.
Modular design is also known as monolithic architecture, in that it makes use of a single material. While traditional designs made use of a number of materials such as wood, glass and steel, Modular Architecture focuses its usage strictly on one material.
In the case of Modular Architecture, this single material is typically steel or concrete, and is combined using a series of modular units that can bend, fold or move to accommodate changing conditions. This permits the entire home to be reconfigured to suit changing priorities and needs whenever the situation requires it.
Modular architecture is sometimes considered to be synonymous with the aspect of structural design. However, while structuralism plays an important role within the modular design concept, the concept of integration is often more strongly defined. Integrating concepts like form, function and space is what makes modular architecture so flexible. The fact that many modular buildings can essentially be constructed without the use of any kind of support system, makes this type of architecture particularly suited to a wide variety of urban environments.
While many aspects of modular architecture are intended to maximize space and provide freedom of design, few advances have been made in the field of integrated architecture. Although some Modular buildings may incorporate elements of integrated architecture, these developments are typically limited to certain aspects of the concept, like the use of modular furniture in living spaces or the incorporation of elements of mass into the simple. Modular product architecture, on the other hand, takes aim at implementing integrated architecture in the complete form of the building.
Essential for Sustainability
Most proponents of Modular Architecture believe that it’s essential to create products that are as sustainable as possible, as a result of the increased sustainability brought about by the adoption of modular design principles. In fact, modular product architecture has been credited with helping to reduce energy consumption due to the reduction of the need for the use of cooling and heating systems, which tend to increase the overall temperature in a room.
Furthermore, incorporating modules that are lighter and more mobile has proven to be an effective way of improving the structural soundness of a skyscraper building. This improvement in structural rigidity allows for easier and less intrusive construction processes. As a result of these processes, Modular buildings are able to achieve a higher degree of consistency, making it easier for the building to maintain its structural integrity.
The use of Modular Architecture has helped many industries as well as governments capitalize on its principles. An industry can capitalize on the advantages that modular design brings to light. This type of architecture makes it possible for industries to produce smaller as well as more powerful machines as well as materials. Furthermore, a Modular building should have a well-defined goal, which is to promote environmental conservation. In order for this type of architecture to be considered as an efficient system, the goal of each module must be well-defined, along with a well-defined set of organizational skills and methods.