Architects should embrace a modular future

Simon Bayliss of HTA

The profession ought to be cheering the government’s support for modern methods of construction, not knocking it, argues HTA’s Simon Bayliss

Manufacturing has brought improvements to most aspects of modern life, but the construction industry, and housing in particular, has a poor record of innovation. We might blame this on prefabrication in the council housing boom of the 20th century, when industrialised system-building helped significantly increase the rate of delivery but often at the expense of construction quality and good placemaking. But in reality the industry currently has few incentives to improve the quality of its developments or the performance of its homes.

Nonetheless, seemingly endemic failures in quality through the lowest-common-denominator outcomes of design and build procurement, and a need to increase housing delivery, surely mean that we as architects are well placed to embrace this potential for innovation to drive a revolution in the industry, to the benefit of all.

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