Modular Building Perception – The modular building industry continues to grow and that trend will continue unless…
First, let me say that I am huge proponent of the modular industry and modular building. I have presented the concept at conferences. And I have even served in an advisory capacity in the industry’s leading advocate and educational group. It is not just a slogan that modular building is greener, faster and smarter it is! As a result I am excited to be a part of that construction movement. Also, I have written tons of articles on the benefits and need for more modular in the future. However there is a perception problem that could derail the industry despite our best efforts.
For me I saw this “modular building perception” problem rear its ugly head in a casual conversation. It was at an impromptu reunion of old friends. We grew up in the wonder years of cul-de-sacs and bicycles. Forty or so kids had summers to roam free in the backyards and empty lots of the Westwood Hills subdivision. As we discussed old-times we started naming the families and the various homes they lived in.
The Sullivans lived in the spit-level, white house with black shutters. The Jones’ house next door was the all brick ranch with the old Corvette in the drive under a tarp. We named the family and described the house all the way around the block and then we came to the Elmer’s Glue house. Everyone at the table knew exactly which house we were talking about. It was a modular home that arrived on the back of trucks in two pieces. With children watching it got craned into place. We, being just kids, made the leap that obviously the two halves had to be stuck together. Elmer’s Glue was the solution. The popular sticky, white, school supply stuck as well and so did the name.
Keep in mind that this is in the 1970’s. In our small town a modular building was an experiment more than a solution and unheard of at the time. When finished the house appeared very modest, plain and simple in comparison to the others in the neighborhood. Also, despite being put together in an afternoon it sat empty for months gathering dust and rumors.
The unfortunate result was a perception in the developing minds of the neighborhood youth. We started believing our imaginations that the modular units are held together with nothing more than the rendered bones of farm yard animals beyond their useful state and lack quality.
John Locke addressed this as he pondered what made mankind tick or think. He adopted the “tabla rasa” (blank slate) philosophy of Aristotle. He said, “Let us then suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas; How comes it to be furnished?” He would argue that is it furnished with experience and perception. That experience and perception becomes our reality and everything going forward is compared to that ever-filling slate throughout life.
I am sure that Locke is rolling over in his grave at my simplistic understanding and application, but you get the general picture. Our reality becomes what we experience not facts. So when that seemingly low-quality house was being placed in our neighborhood, a group of young people filled the paper of their minds with a negative perception of modular. This does not mean that modular is low quality – far from it. It just means the perception is there and can persist.
Actual facts about modular construction have taken hammer and tongs at the perception for years and have been making serious inroads as modular becomes more and more popular, not just in the United States, but around the world. It is greener, faster, safer and more cost effective.
But, with the reality and facts comes dangers especially when a self, proclaimed modular manufacturer puts on the market an unsafe product. It confirms the unfair perception and will give the entire modular movement a black-eye hurting the modular building perception. The now filled blank slate will be reaffirmed and the chore of telling others about the benefits of the modular movement will become more difficult not less.
We have seen this with modular elevators. Modular Elevator Manufacturing (MEM) is working hard to promote the modular concept and part of that hard work and promotion is to make sure that the elevators we provide are actually high-quality and what we say about the product matches up with reality. When rumors abound that with another company parts fall out during installation it makes our job tougher. We have engineered quality into each product we manufacture and we have a ten-point inspection check list to verify our quality before the hoistway with the pre-installed elevator is readied for shipping.
Quality is extremely important not just for MEM but for the modular market as a whole. If pioneers of the industry such as MEM The pioneers of the industry like those at MEM continue to provide quality the future is bright. However, if also rans with low standards and low quality becomes what is sold, it will indeed be a difficult slog forward.
We love the modular industry and know most of our readers do too. So to preserve the reputation of the industry consider MEM not the others. We produce quality and our track record proves it and we are proud of it!
If quality and the modular build perception is important to you and you see a modular elevator as a solution click the button below. We will provide a Fast Track number in a day. You will find that MEM elevators are always quality elevators taking you to a higher level.