Prefab Homes – The homes of the future will not only be more sustainable and affordable—they will also be much faster to build. Prefab architecture is paving the way, and now there’s more variety than ever to choose from. We’ve rounded up 5+1 eco-friendly prefab homes that can be snapped together in three days flat (or less!) almost anywhere in the world.
- 1 Prefab Homes Ideas / Designs Plans / Manufacturers
- 2 1. Prefab Modular Homes Magic Green Homes
- 3 2. Prefabricated Cabins Net-zero Unity Home
- 4 3. Cheap Prefab Homes Modular One by Robert Gurney
- 5 4. Prefabricated Homes Mini House by Jonas Wagel
- 6 5. Affordable Prefab Homes Bamboo Living House
- 7 6. Modern Prefab Homes DublDom by BIO Architects
Prefab Homes Ideas / Designs Plans / Manufacturers
Prefabricated homes, often referred to as prefab homes or simply prefabs, are specialist dwelling types of prefabricated building, which are manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled. Some current prefab home designs include architectural details inspired by postmodernism or futurist architecture.
The word ‘prefab’ is not an industry term like modular home, manufactured home, panelized home or site-built home. The term is an amalgamation of panelized and modular building systems, and can mean either one. In today’s usage the term ‘prefab’ is more closely related to the style of home, usually modernist, rather than to a particular method of home construction.
1. Prefab Modular Homes Magic Green Homes
Your dreams of living in Hobbiton could be closer than you think. Magic Green prefab Homes has created prefabricated Hobbit homes that are so easy to construct, just about anyone can build one in just three days. Made from prefabricated vaulted panels, the flexible modular prefab homes connect together without any need for special skills or heavy equipment. The prefab homes can be covered with soil and geotextiles to grow a living green roof.
Can you imagine living in a 400-square-foot tiny prefab home that is eco-friendly and energy-efficient, yet boasts all the amenities of a conventional house? Magic Green prefab Homes fabricates such structures using prefabricated vaulted panels and covers them with soil, creating flexible green-roofed living spaces with a Tolkienesque charm. And the kicker? They’re so easy to construct, just about anyone can build one.
The Green Magic prefab Homes are composed of prefabricated vaulted panels manufactured with composite laminate materials, confined by walls in reinforced soil. The structure is easy to assemble and features perforated flaps in order to screw and seal the components together.
Because of this efficient technology, the prefab homes designs can be adapted to any type of topography and customized to fit individual needs. The good thing is customers can start small and purchase panels which would be sufficient to build a few modules and then expand as they go. It takes only three people to assemble the prefab homes structure in three days, with no special skills or heavy equipment.
The technology draws from various methods of earth construction and stabilization, such as superadobe and geotextiles. Composite ducts and channels for electrical wiring and water pipes as well as mechanical ventilation ducts can be added to the shell at any point. The trick with this type of construction is to achieve adequate ventilation and water-proofing, which Green Magic prefab Homes address in a new way by creating strong, modular, waterproof inner shells that structurally collaborate with the earth.
2. Prefabricated Cabins Net-zero Unity Home
Unveiled last year as part of Greenbuild 2015, this gorgeous Unity home is a net-zero prefab homes that can be assembled in less than three days—but is designed to last for centuries. Speed of assembly isn’t this eco-home’s only impressive feature, however. The 1,620-square-foot net-zero-ready dwelling was built to LEED v4 Platinum standards and outfitted with the world’s largest collection of Cradle to Cradle (C2C)-certified building products ever used in a residential prefab homes project.
If you aren’t yet sold on factory-built housing, the gorgeous prefab homes may have what it takes to change your mind. Unveiled as this year’s Greenbuild demonstration project, this beautiful net-zero home can pop up in less than three days, but is designed to last centuries. Most impressively, the Unity home is a beacon for sustainable design: the prefab dwelling is built to LEED v4 Platinum and net zero-energy standards and is outfitted with the largest collection of Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified building products ever used in a residential project.
Constructed by Unity prefab Homes in collaboration with BUILDER magazine and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, the 2015 Greenbuild Unity Home was fully constructed at Unity’s New Hampshire-based factory over the course of five weeks and assembled on the Expo floor in just three days. The 1,620-square-foot net-zero-ready house is based off of Unity’s contemporary Zūm model and comprises a system of prefab pods and panels including sheathing, wiring, insulation, and finishes. Building a pathway to affordable homes is key to the Unity Home design. The house is currently priced to about $150 per square foot and could drop below $140 per square foot in 2016.
To meet its ambitious net-zero energy targets, the Unity prefab homes features over a dozen state-of-the-art C2C-certified products, from the Naturepedic mattresses to the Icestone countertops. The most surprising C2C product was the SunPower solar panels—the first and only solar panels to receive C2C certification—made from non-hazardous materials and equipped with an energy meter and app. “The number and different types of products in the Unity home shows that every aspect of your environment can be cradle to cradle,” says C2C’s Built Environment VP Stacy Glass. C2C-certified Shaw carpets line the interior (as well as the Greenbuild Expo floors).
The two-bedroom, two-bath Unity Home shell was completed in just a day and a half, while the furnishings and additions were completed just two additional days. GreenFiber Cel-Pak cellulose insulation (made of 85% recycled paper fibers) and Huber Engineered Woods’ ZIP Systems wall and roofing panels create an airtight envelope that targets .6 ACH50. Though the triple-glazed unplasticized PVC (uPVC) Intus windows are operable, opening them up isn’t necessary. Bringing in fresh air is a breeze thanks to the Zehnder ComfoSystems CA 200 model—certified at 92% efficiency by the Passive House Institute—that uses heat recovery ventilation and funnels a constant flow of filtered fresh air into the home.
3. Cheap Prefab Homes Modular One by Robert Gurney
A factory-fabricated home might not sound appealing on paper, but Robert Gurney’s Modular One helps prove that prefab can be beautiful. Located just outside Washington, D.C. in Bethesda, Maryland, the Modular One is an award-winning prefabricated home comprising 13 energy-efficient modules. The modern light-filled home was assembled on-site within two days.
Need more proof that factory-fabricated homes can be beautiful? Look no further than Washington, D.C.-based architect Robert Gurney’s bm Modular One, an award winning prefab house built in Bethesda, Maryland. Designed to be flexible, affordable, and efficient, the modern light-filled dwelling comprises 13 energy-efficient modules and was assembled on-site within two days.
Gurney turned to modular construction in response to the client’s tight time frame and limited budget. The 6,820-square-foot bm Modular One home was manufactured in two weeks offsite and then shipped and assembled on the 0.3-acre property with plumbing, wiring, windows, and HVAC ducts pre-installed. The foundation and basement were constructed on-site with polished concrete floors.
Although the modules were delivered to the site dry-walled and primed, they are made up of repeatable parts for easy custom configurations. The bm Modular One features finishes including maple flooring, walnut millwork, and aluminum stairs. Mostly white walls and clean lines give the home its clean and modern appearance. Corrugated metal siding with stucco and Spanish cedar break up the otherwise all-white facade. Large windows allow natural light to flood the home interior.
4. Prefabricated Homes Mini House by Jonas Wagel
Architect Jonas Wagel successfully subverted Sweden’s strict permitting regulations with the Mini House, a modern solar-powered prefab that took two people just two days to put together once the piers were in place. Built to withstand both summer and winter conditions, the compact 15-square-meter home also comes with customized modular add-ons, from a kitchen and bath module to a storage module. A solar power kit can be added to the home to provide electricity.
Swedish architect and designer Jonas Wagel lives up to his reputation as one of the world’s hottest designers with his Mini House – a modern prefab that is easily constructed in a mere two days. At just 15 square meters, the tiny home also features a terrace of the same square footage along with a pergola that provides shade. Quaint and free of unnecessary finishings, this sturdy home also sidesteps Sweden’s strict permitting regulations.
The Mini Home’s exterior materials are comprised of an Iverit façade and a bitumen roof while the floor is laid with hardwood panels. All of the prefabricated modules and add ons, including a compact kitchen and bath module, heater and chimney, storage module and a 12V solar power kit are delivered to the site flatpacked.
A concrete foundation is laid and the mini home is usually constructed within two days. Albeit small, the home is suitable for all weather conditions and features extraordinary attention to detail. Trimless windows and neat organization of the electrical feeds ensures that living small can also mean living large! The Mini House follows on the heels of other tiny homes like Michelle de la Vega’s impressive renovation, signaling a powerful shift to a new way of life.
5. Affordable Prefab Homes Bamboo Living House
Bamboo and prefab is a match made in heaven. Just ask Bamboo Living Homes, a company that prefabricates gorgeous bamboo homes and ships the disassembled products to anywhere in the world for reassembly on-site. One of their fastest bamboo building crews put together two houses in just two days in Hawaii. You can watch the project in action in the video.
Our fascination with prefab buildings knows no bounds — but add bamboo to the mix and you’ve really got our attention. These two beautiful houses in Hawaii were recently built using bamboo as the main building material. The total construction time? Two days.
The Hawaiian houses were designed by David Sands of Bamboo Living Homes. The owners decided on Bamboo because it is lightweight, incredibly strong, and a rapidly renewable material. The company designed the houses, assembled them in Vietnam, and then shipped them to Hawaii to be set up on-site. The company has been building bamboo houses for 14 years, but these two were by far the fastest builds they’ve every assembled.
Sustainably-sourced bamboo is one of the best green building materials around. It’s as strong as timber, grows quicker, and looks fantastic. Combining this versatile material with prefab construction strikes us as a great green idea.
6. Modern Prefab Homes DublDom by BIO Architects
Moscow-based BIO Architects created a tiny and adorable holiday retreat with a patio that can be assembled in just one day. The cozy timber dwelling, called the DublDom (Russian for ‘double house’), comes fully equipped with all the basic home equipment, including sanitary equipment, a mains connection, insulation, wiring, plumbing, and custom-made furniture. Full-height glazing and skylights fill the gabled structure with light and opens up the home to views of the outdoors and natural ventilation.
Imagine if you could just pick up a new home off-the-shelf and build it in a day. The modular DublDom home (“double house”) by Moscow-based BIO Architects is designed exactly for that, and comes with all necessary sanitary equipment, furniture, household appliances, insulation and plumbing. Tiny, wooden and very sweet, this prefab design also comes at a reduced price.
The new DublDom home is a modular dwelling fabricated not far from Moscow. Designed by BIO Architects, it can be used as a first home or vacation retreat, and consists of a gabled structure clad in dark metal sheets with a fully glazed end that opens up into a wooden deck or covered porch.
Constructed entirely from wood, the light-filled dwelling has a cozy cabin feel yet boasts all the comforts of a home. Its modular, off-the-shelf design allows people to easily assemble it in just one day. DublDom comes in two different sizes, complete with all sanitary equipment, a mains connection, insulation, wiring and plumbing, as well as custom-made furniture.
Prefab homes are becoming popular in Europe, Canada and United States as they are relatively cheap when compared to many existing homes on the market. The 2007 finance crisis has however deflated the cost of housing in North America and Europe, so not all prefab homes should be assumed to be cheaper than existing housing.
Modern architects are experimenting with prefabrication as a means to deliver well-designed and mass-produced modern homes. Modern architecture forgoes referential decoration and instead features clean lines and open floor plans.
Because of the design simplifications modern architecture provides (coupled with the cost savings that tend go with design simplification) many in the manufactured housing sector generally feel that modern architecture designs are better suited for prefab home construction.