Prefabricated building systems are once again gaining popularity. The new prefabricated paradigm offers the integration of several approaches previously ignored: automated manufacturing, integrated building services and environmental sustainable principles. Consistency, predictable environmental control, modular flexibility, quick assembly and affordability are promising features of modern manufactured construction. Though the concept of prefabricated building is not new, this type of construction may be the only hope in obtaining a truely sustainable architecture for our future.
This paper attempts to define and evaluate several prefabricated building systems, ranging from a ‘kit-of-parts’ to fully assembled ‘volumetric’ modules. It aims to categorise various manufactured types among a vast amount of information, and to observe their attributes regarding materials, flexibility, structural integrity, delivery and constructability. This paper suggests that pre-fabricated architecture can deliver high order design and diversity within the framework of waste reduction, renewable systems integration and optimal performance.
sustainable building, modular design, prefabrication, offsite construction, renewables