There are many examples of prefabricated homes and buildings all over the world. They have proven that prefab structures can be both structurally sound and architecturally beautiful. Enjoy this visual feast:
eHab, Seattle, USA
This house sits next to a lake on a small patch of land in Seattle in the U.S. A shipping container galvanized and sprayed with a coating proved to be the best option for the humid climate. The limited space makes it almost impossible to build on-site, so a prefab home delivered to the site by crane was probably the best option for the home owners.
Seafoam, Halcyon Hill House, British Columbia, Canada
Seafoam House, located in British Columbia in Canada, is a 2-bedroom house with a large living room and three orientations. The large window-to-wall ratio offers a great view to the lake and trees. However, the large glazing area in a cold climate in Canada could be a great drawback for energy consumption. Lindal, the prefab home provider, has installed double-pane windows for extra insulation, lowering thermal conduction and thereby reducing energy consumption.
Kekkilä Green Shed, Helsinki, Finland
This prefabricated garden home is made from Finnish pine and toughened safety glass. All the parts can be easily assembled with a screwdriver. The designer Linda Bergroth uses the prototype prefabricated garden shed for her own summer house. She added solar panels for lighting as well as steps made from reclaimed bricks to the original design.
Bella Bella Passive House, BC, Canada
A fire damaged the R.W. Large Memorial Hospital staff housing units. The urgent need for the housing and the lack of skilled labor in the area led to a solution of using prefab technology. The Bella Bella project was prefabricated off-site and then assembled on-site. The 6-unit townhouse complex was built to meet the most stringent energy and airtightness requirements, a standard called “passive house”. This standard means that even on the coldest day, each unit will have a peak heating load of around 600 watts – the equivalent of six 100-watt light bulbs, with no additional heating needed. It is also tested in the factory for airtightness.
One9, Melbourne, Australia
Thanks to the prefab-paneled concrete core, this 9-story apartment was built in only 5 days. Each dwelling, as well as the accompanying electrical and plumbing systems, were built almost entirely offsite then stacked and connected on-site. The developer also made it a sustainable residence by reducing water use, energy consumption and waste. Double glazed windows were installed for better thermal and acoustic performance.
Mini Sky City, Changsha, China
The 57-story skyscraper is the housing for the employees of Broad Sustainable Buildings Co., otherwise known as BSB. The prefab project was completed in less than 20 days. Amidst China’s smog, the building provides the 800 apartments and 4,000-person working space with clean air through advanced heat recovery ventilators with 3 stage air purification. Compared to single houses, multi-family buildings such as One9 and high-rises like Mini Sky City not only rely on sophisticated prefabricated parts, but also an extremely well synchronized construction schedule and management.
(Top photo from Passive House Canada)