Whoever said "invent a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door" didn't know what he was talking about. Although we developed a better construction system, we have found it takes a whale of a lot of marketing effort to make it a commercial success. Some of the marketing lessons we've learned in a decade of work with a specialized technology for concrete-frame buildings: Define your product and periodically reassess its most marketable aspects; identify potential customers for your product and develop it in the direction of their needs; promote your product to its market; and secure professional marketing assistance.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY OF THE SYSTEM
The program relies on patented construction technology using permanent lightweight prefabricated forms that integrate structure, fireproofing, thermal insulation, a vapor barrier, sound insulation, windows, spandrels, exterior veneers, and interior finishes. Concrete and rebars are, of course, purchased locally. Spacing of the integral columns, depth of the bond beam, required concrete compressive strength, and sizes and grade of rebars are determined for each building, taking into account live loads and local wind and seismic conditions. The elevator installation, usually the component requiring the longest lead time, has been standardized to fit into the six-month construction schedule. Heating and air conditioning equipment is pre-engineered to satisfy the wide variety of regional requirements. The boiler for our prototype building in Livonia provides only 8 Btu per hour per square foot of gross floor area and has proved more than adequate even for Michigan's climate.