Modular architecture initiative rethinks prefabrication

Modular architecture initiative rethinks prefabrication

A new modular initiative launched by MiTek and Danny Forster & Architecture (DF&A) is aimed at rethinking the approach to prefabrication from concept design through to building

There’s a new kid on the prefab block; welcome the joint modular initiative of provider of innovative construction-based software, services, and engineered building solutions MiTek and Danny Forster & Architecture (DF&A). The scheme, which has been created by the digital systems specialist (who is owned by multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway) and the New York based architecture firm, was conceived to champion prefabrication and flexible, sustainable building

Central to the initiative is the creation of a Modular Activation Platform (MAP), which will help simplify working with and designing modular buildings. ‘This will democratize modular – which means revolutionising the building industry,’ says DF&A principal Danny Forster. ‘Modular has such clear advantages, but for your average commercial builder, the risks are too high and the learning curve is too steep. Our activation platform will change that.’

Mitek is a modular housing model by Danny Forster & Architecture, seen here from the outside

At the same time, the Modular Laboratory has been set up to explore applications, answer questions and experiment further around the idea on the manufacturing front of prefabrication. The idea is to make modular architecture ‘both more accessible and more reliable,’ says the team. Being innovative but at the same time pragmatic is the key. 

DF&A are leading the charge on the design front, having recently completed their first prototype. The design, representing a dwelling,  is sleek and mixes modernist aesthetics with a contemporary sensibility working with a variety of materials. Tactile, warm surfaces and natural light through large openings are promoted to enhance quality of space. 

‘Communities across the country desperately need housing, and that is a need that modular can answer — and MiTek can help, collaborating with municipal authorities and MWBE-certified contractors to get it done,’ says Todd Ullom, MiTek’s VP for the initiative. §

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