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Modular construction is natural too, ya’ know.

There is an age-old analogy in construction circles regarding how building modules are much like the basic, living cells found in nature. Take the brick for example. A brick is a man-made module of elegant simplicity that has been used by homebuilders for thousands of years. Although it seems lifeless, assembled piles of bricks stuck together with mortar develop into a protective structures, just as cells labeled “skin” combine to cover and protect our bodies.

Recently, modular building modules have evolved into larger and more complex cells born to encapsulate smaller functions. In modular design, these modules now incorporate many of our life support systems: heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, water delivery, waste systems, electricity, security, and much more.  A building leaves the factory at 85% of its final form but before they go, these modular blocks are mixed and matched into any number of different configurations: creating small, cozy homes of 1,500 square feet, all the way up to luxury homes touting 6,000 square feet… and more.

And, just as tiny organisms have evolved, so have the small brick modules formerly used in the buildings of old. Now, sheets of plywood, glass & metal panels and floor joists (to name just a few) are components that have become pieces of our sophisticated structural environment.

Now the analogy gets really interesting.

Within the wall of any tiny, organic cell are instructional genes that help it acquire all the molecular compounds necessary for it to grow, and multiply, into a complete, organism. There are even genes whose only purpose is to control the coordinate assembly of cells at certain times. These are called control genes and I, always the architect, like to think of them as little construction managers… here is why.


My next few entries will concern themselves with the similarities between modular building and nature. Please click on the RSS feed icon above to put my blog on your home page or in email reader. With RSS you will always know when I have been inspired to post my vision of the future of home technologies. Thank you so much for joining me here today. Feel free to post or email your comments about my blog entries. I would love to hear from you. Please remember to forward this link to anyone who builds and needs to understand the future of our industry.

Douglas Cutler R.A.


203 761 9561

Douglas Cutler

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