4 Modular and Prefab Construction

Today’s prefab and modular houses are not only more stylish than those of the past; often, they are indistinguishable from custom, site-built homes. Photo Credit: Copyright Scott Mayoral, Courtesy of Living Homes

Part of the appeal of today’s prefab homes is the inclusion of natural and energy-efficient materials. Photo Credit: Copyright Steve Glenn, Courtesy of Living Homes

Modular homes come in all shapes and sizes. Photo Credit: Copyright Steve Glenn, Courtesy of Living Homes

The interior design of today’s modular homes is a far cry from the doublewides of the past. Photo Credit: Copyright Steve Glenn, Courtesy of Living Homes

Many of the today’s prefab homes display a modernist aesthetic. Photo Credit: Copyright Steve Glenn, Courtesy of Living Homes

Modular home “additions” can fill the bill when all that’s needed is one extra room. Photo Credit: PlusRoom.net

Modular school structures provide flexible, energy-efficient and affordable options for changing classroom needs. This classroom is displayed on the lawn of the National Building Museum as part of its Green Schools exhibit. Photo Credit: Copyright Sam Kittner, Courtesy Perkins + Will

Author Sheri Koones has published a series of books on modular and prefab homes.

Modular and Prefab Construction

Not so long ago, the notion of modular or prefab buildings was synonymous with doublewide trailers and poor aesthetics. But today, modular buildings – homes, schools, and commercial buildings – are making a green comeback, gracing the covers of sleek design magazines and attracting a younger demographic that is passionate about lowering its environmental footprint.

This new breed of modular/prefab buildings comes with a green pedigree: sustainable, energy-efficient, and affordable.

In addition to designed-in efficiencies, fabricating a structure’s components in a centralized location, rather than trucking all of the necessary materials and labor to the building site, greatly reduces the carbon footprint of a building vs. a site-built project.

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