Good designers understand that there is more to great design than just appearance- projects must also consider how to withstand the natural wear and tear of the activities within the building or space. In addition, thought should be given to how such systems can also be easily repaired. The manufacturing industry has recently responded to this need with the development of modular systems from flooring to walls and ceilings.
Flooring is one area where companies have begun to use systems where individual tiles or panels can be easily replaced without needing to completely replace the entire floor or section. Carpet tiles are quickly becoming a standard in commercial spaces, offering much more aesthetic options than ever before. In many options, even the consumer is able to repair or replace a small area as needed without the need for specialized (and expensive) repair or installation.
Modular ceiling tiles have proven to be an excellent solution in recent years as updates to lighting requirements both for comfort and energy savings changed. In buildings with ceiling tiles, light fixtures are much easier to change and update than in spaces with drywall ceilings, which required cutting and patching at a minimum. Ceiling tiles can also be replaced inexpensively as needed, one at a time, eliminating the need for large-scale repair or replacement.
In conclusion, it is the role of the designer to consider the lasting affect the physical environment being created will have on the environment. Designing with longevity in mind including a plan for repair and replacement can eliminate much of the waste that comes about when systems wear out or fail and contribute to a more sustainable environment.