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Modular Structures: History of Modular Structures

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Richard Warren Sears

Though modular building has been under the spotlight over the past few years, believe it or not, this construction method is nothing new. Modular construction dates back to the early 1900s when Sears Roebuck Co. sold over 75,000 pre-built modular homes from 1908 to 1940.

Over that time Sears designed 447 different housing styles, from the elaborate multistory Ivanhoe, with its elegant French doors and art glass windows, to the simpler Goldenrod, which served as a quaint, three-room and no-bath cottage for summer vacationers.

The ability to mass-produce the materials used in Sears homes lessened manufacturing costs, which lowered purchase costs for customers. Not only did precut and fitted materials shrink construction time up to 40% but Sears’s use of "balloon style" framing, drywall, and asphalt shingles greatly eased construction for homebuyers.

Example some of Sears Homes design catalog         

Sears one of Homes 1908-1914

800px Sears Magnolia Catalog Image

However, it wasn’t until 1958 that modular buildings became a popular way to construct schools, businesses and medical facilities. Modular building has now advanced to cover all different market sectors.

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Guest Thursday, 18 July 2019

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