By PRENTICE BRADLEY
(Modular Service Association)
The building industry today is divided into two principal parts. One part is concerned with the production of building materials and building equipment and the other is engaged in the assembly of such of these building materials and equipment items as may be required to produce a given building. In the early days there was little differentiation between these two processes simply because the materials of which the building was composed were largely local materials transformed into structure and finished by the builder. However, since the industrial revolution the function of making building materials has passed from the builder and his craftsmen into the hands of industry; into countless large and small plants generally located near the raw material but often hundreds of miles from the building operation itself. This development has resulted in an unfortunate disintegration of the building industry.
The two main branches have not developed along parallel lines but have taken diverging paths. The rapid expansion in the use of the machine, in transportation, and in mechanical contrivances, many of which, form an integral part of structure, has hastened the growth of one branch and tended to disassociate it from the other.