Prefabricated / Modular Home Construction

There are varied benefits to going with modular home construction methods.
If you have heard of modular construction, sometimes also referred to as prefab (prefabricated) building, then shipping container houses fit within this method of building.

The terms prefabricated and modular do have slightly different meanings, but are often used interchangeably in building terms..

From dictionary.com..

  • Modular - composed of standardized units* or sections for easy construction or flexible arrangement.
    *Note - Any home will contain modular units – bricks, columns, windows – any item that comes in standard or ‘modular’ sizes

  • Prefabricated - to manufacture in standardized parts or sections ready for quick assembly and erection, as buildings.

It is when we combine modular units with prefabrication that the building process on site can be shortened and simplified, potentially providing significant cost savings.

More about the benefits, and drawbacks of prefabricated modular building and why you might choose it..

So from the above we can see that container homes use the containers as a base unit for construction, and without doing any extra work, we already have walls, floor and roof structure in place which are already prefabricated and without the need for many of the more conventional building trades.


modular building construction - wall panel delivery

Levels of Prefabrication

Prefabricated buildings can have different levels of fabrication that occur in the factory, or off site.

Many homes these days are build with prefab wall panels, which are delivered all at once and assembled in a day or two. Other builders and design firms have taken prefabrication to a whole new level where entire modules are fitted out prior to delivery. This level of prefabrication can be done with ‘modules’ of a shipping container project.

It may have the internal walls, floor, insulation, fittings and fixtures all assembled in a factory location. This gives improved control over the finishes, as well as reducing the time for the build.

Examples of prefab container buildings include the

Ecopod - modular housing

Image by Ecopods.ca

Modular Does Not Mean Cheap or Without Style

Previously modular home construction might have been lumped into the realm of mobile housing, but it has come a long way as you can see by the images of modern modular homes that we have found.

Check out the stunning steel framed 'Wheatsheaf House' in country Australia.

Modular homes have displayed themselves as being stylish, sustainable, innovative and built in a fraction of the time of standard homes (roughly one quarter- ie less than 3 months from start to finish).

So who wouldn't want one?





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