CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGIES, MATERIALS, AND LABOR AVAILABILITY
Three trends of the post-World War II era have
accelerated in recent years. Construction
technology and distribution systems have
greatly increased the availability and variety of
construction materials and furnishings. Labor
for construction is increasingly scarce and costly.
Two developments in particular have direct
bearing on the image of the built environment:
• Prefabricated construction systems or modular
buildings and structures, including toilets, are
readily available, have relatively low initial costs,
and require little labor beyond site preparation
to install. Therefore, they are often used
to meet functional needs and economic
• Prefabricated recreation site furnishings, such
as tables, benches, and trash receptacles, are
often used instead of the custom designed
and built furnishings of the past. The character
of these ranges from fairly rustic (made of
natural or natural-appearing materials) to
manufactured (including metal and plastics).
Already an economic reality, prefabricated units
can be carefully selected and sited to meet
requirements of function, efficiency, and aesthetics.
This requires professional analysis of the landscape
and ROS setting to yield locations and design
treatments that blend these elements into forest
settings. Without such measures, prefabricated
units can look out of place. The contexts of ecology
and culture should not be sacrificed to economics.
All three contexts must be kept in careful balance.