The term "module" derives from the Latin "modulus" as a diminutive of
"modus", i.e., measure. Module is thus a term, starting from its original meaning
of small measurement, utilized in the sphere of constructions to identify the base-
measurement, or the base-form, in relation to which a complex structure is
conceived, organized, designed and built.
Standard unit of size used to coordinate the dimensions of buildings and components.
With the module it was possible to verify the proportioning of a building mainly from
the perceptive and aesthetic points of view, and its definition was totally independent
of the characteristics of the materials utilized or of reference to dimensions correlated
to the human body.
With industrialization, the theme of the module was collocated even more precisely
within the context of so-called modular coordination.
The concept of module takes on the specific meaning of fundamental dimensional
element to be assumed as common reference, both in the design process and in the
production process of industrial nature.
A module can be defined as a basic dimension which could for example form the basis
of a planning grid in terms of multiples and submultiples of the standard module.
Basic module M = 100 mm
The smallest module to be used to
coordinate position and size of
components, elements and
installations, related by reference 3D
points, lines and planes
Multi-Module 3M, 6M, 9M, 12M . .
Planning modules for main
dimensions of framework : span,
storey height etc.
Sub-Module M/2, M/4
For sizing of components requiring
increment smaller than M
Horizontal planning module Mh = 3M (300mm)
The horizontal planning module for structural framework is based on the functional
requirements of the building and the components to be used for economic design.
Vertical Planning Module Mv = 1M (100mm)
Basic Modular Grid For small scale drawings to
clarify relationship between components - 1M x 1M.
Multi Modular Grids Formed with intervals
of multi modules squares with same intervals or
rectangular used in key plans, showing layouts and
positioning of main building components.
Tartan Grids Interrupted modular planning
Grid band of interruptions are regularly spaced in both
Directions band of interruptions can be modular or non
Modular Grid &
1. modular planning grid is used mainly for the
design structural framework.
2. modular component must normally be kept
within its modular zone but technical
considerations may require certain connections
which entail the components exceeding their
modular zones eg. tongue and groove, bolted
3. with simple, uniform modular components,
there is no conflict with the modular grid, however
at connections, either grid must give way or
special non modular components must be used.
•Modular coordination is a concept of coordination of dimension and space, in which
buildings and components are dimensioned and positioned in a term of a basic unit or
module, known as ‘1M’ which is equivalent to 100 mm.
Structural Grid –
Used to locate structural components such as beams and columns.
Planning Grid -
Based on any convenient modular multiple for regulating space requirements such as
Controlling Grid –
Based on any convenient modular multiple for location of internal walls, partitions dc.
Basic Module Grid –
•Used for detail location of components and fittings.
•All the above grids, being based on a basic module, are contained one within the other
and are therefore interrelated.
•These grids can be used in both the horizontal and vertical planes thus forming a three
dimensional grid system.
• If a first preference numerical value is given to M dimensional coordination is
Modular Brick Masonry
•The listed dimensions of
modular masonry units are
"nominal'', and are equal to
the manufactured or
specified dimension plus the
thickness of the mortar joint
with which the unit is
designed to be laid.
•For example, the
manufactured length of a unit
whose nominal length is 12
in. would be 11 1/2 in. if the
unit were designed to be laid
with 1/2 in. joints, or 11 5/8
in. for 3/8 - in. joints.
GRID LOCATIONS OF MASONRY WALLS
•Grid locations of mortar joints in walls constructed with various modular units when the
walls are centered between grid lines.
•It can be seen that all grid lines coincide with horizontal mortar joints for only the 2 - in.
and 4 - in. nominal heights, thus providing 4 - in. flexibility.
•A symmetrical grid location for walls is usually preferred to an unsymmetrical position.
•The fact that alternate grid lines coincide with the mortar joints provides a simple rule for
determining the location of a grid line with respect to the masonry at any point above or
below a given reference grid line.
•Any grid line which is an even multiple
of 4 - in. from the reference line will have
the same relative position with respect to
the masonry coursing.
•This simple rule greatly simplifies the
checking of course heights, particularly
for lintels, where it is usually essential
that the head of the opening coincide with
a horizontal mortar joint.