Modular Design & Construction in Automotive and Building Structures: Eliminating ‘Show-Stoppers’ in the Use of Wood-Based Facade Cladding



The key demands on manufacturers in the modern-age markets globalisation are the following: (i) a short development cycle, (ii) cost effectiveness, (iii) excellent product quality, and (iv) in-built product variability and upgradability. Development of new products under such dynamic market conditions necessitates an integrated approach to all stages of company operations, including product design, prototyping, productionising and manufacturing, and extending it to the lifetime serviceability. Such competitive requirements cannot be dealt with by the conventional, sequential model of product development and require switching to the modular approach, which additionally enables effective accommodation of the growing needs of customers for products variety and their immediate or future customisation. This paper addresses modular product development, including design and assembly in application to building & construction industry. The focus is on paving the path for a new generation high-quality/high durability products, such as modular cladding components for low- and high-rise residential and commercial buildings with the emphasis on product sustainability and longlasting aesthetics. It also considers: (i) the identification of principal causes of diminishing market share of wood-based cladding of building facades, and (ii) highlights key aspects of the development of a breakthrough technology providing a high-quality, high-durability surface finish of painted exterior wood products offering a platform for reversal of the decades-long decline of this important segment of the building products market.


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