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

constraints.

• 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.

 

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