New York, New York, USA
New York architect office Danny Forster & Architecture and MiTek, a company inside Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate and a global provider of innovative construction-based software, services, and engineered building solutions announce the formal launch of their Modular Initiative, with the mission to help the construction industry answer the global demand for smarter, more affordable, and more sustainable buildings and communities.
Danny Forster leads the design and research work alongside MiTek’s R&D and New Market Growth team, as MiTek invests significant resources into developing and evolving a modular enablement platform for decades to come.
MiTek’s Modular initiative will look to innovate at every step of the process and, half a century after it was first touted as the next great thing, finally make modular mainstream.
The core of MiTek’s Modular initiative is the development of a Modular Activation Platform (MAP) that will simplify constructing a modular building, even for those who have no previous experience with modular.
Developers, GCs, and Architects will be able to choose modular fearlessly, knowing that MiTek’s platform will provide them everything they need to get it done: from specialized design software to hands-on guidance from beginning to end.
“This will democratize modularly–which means revolutionizing the building industry,” says DF&A principal Danny Forster, whose own work in modular design attests to his belief in the technology.
“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.”
In order to empower builders everywhere and enable widespread adoption of modular, MiTek is not just committing to guiding builders through the system; it is committing to transforming the modular methodology itself, by questioning and improving every step in the modular process. How can fabrication documents be easier to use? How can plumbing be faster to install? How can modules be cheaper to ship?
To answer these questions, MiTek set up a Modular Laboratory to experiment with and ultimately improve the factory systems that produce modules.
The first thing Forester did was tο design and build two modular prototypes, in order to tackle some of the issues that have plagued the technology for decades.
He’s rethinking a decentralized supply chain model, creating custom software platforms to improve QA/QC, reinventing the structural cage, the way modules connect, the facade systems, and even the fire strategy.
All while designing the beautiful, functional, inviting spaces you see here.
The lab will reinvent the manufacturing process using Sub-Assemblies for faster, error-free installation, as well as Time-Machine software that tracks every stage–an invaluable aid to project managers, inspectors, and future owners.
This willingness to rethink the process—along with supporting material and technological inventions from a team of more than 400 software engineers—will make modular both more accessible and more reliable.
Project: Modular Activation Platform (MAP)
Architects: Danny Forster & Architecture (DF&A)
Manufacturer: MiTek Industries, Inc.
Photographers: Ty Cole