MiTek Launches Modular Initiative With Danny Forster & Architecture Partnership

MiTek Launches Modular Initiative With Danny Forster & Architecture Partnership

MiTek, a global provider of innovative construction-based software, services, and engineered building solutions that is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, and Danny Forster & Architecture (DF&A), a New York City-based architecture firm, 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. As part of the agreement, DF&A will lead the design, and research work alongside MiTek's R&D and New Market Growth team, as MiTek invests significant resources in to 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 modular--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."

When every builder can make the choice to use modular, the methodology can apply to a wide range of sectors: hospitality, health care, education, multi-family residential. Every building type that has repeatable elements can benefit from the efficiencies of modular. Affordable housing is a perfect example. Todd Ullom, MiTek's VP for Modular, says "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."

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. This 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.

Although it has recently increased its focus on modular building, MiTek has been committed to building transformation throughout its 80-year history. It now comprises diverse worldwide capabilities that specialize in everything from the building envelope, to structural, mechanical, and electrical systems, to software solutions, as well as design and engineering services.

DF&A brings its modular design expertise to the initiative. The architect of award-winning modular projects (including an AC by Marriott that will be the tallest modular hotel in the world), DF&A is also a global proponent of modular construction: educating public officials and industry leaders, creating testing standards, and inventing new technologies to advance modular building.

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