Prefabricated Houses and Modularity - Advantages and Disadvantages of Modular Construction






Prefabricated House - History, Construction, Advantages, Disadvantages
Modularity
Modular Construction

Prefabricated House - History, Construction, Advantages, Disadvantages 


History of Prefab Construction
Prefab Method of Construction
Prefabricated Houses Advantages
Prefabricated Houses Disadvantages

The term prefabricated house is generally used to refer to a house that - at least in parts - is prefabricated at the factory and delivered to the site.


According to the Austrian Standards Institute definition, a prefabricated house is a structure built on a prepared substructure consisting of prefabricated, floor-to-ceiling large-panel conversion elements, room cells and prefabricated ceiling and roof elements manufactured in production sites independent of weather conditions.





This standard applies to residential buildings (detached and semi-detached houses, terraced houses, multi-storey residential buildings), office buildings, kindergartens, schools and multi-purpose houses and regardless of the building materials used (wood, concrete, brick). This standard does not cover structures constructed with non-storey but prefabricated single structural elements, such as houses made of brick, aerated concrete, hollow blocks or wooden block house planks, or which do not conform to a specific minimum level of performance.


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B10 Prefab House + Garage for Electric Car + Sustainable Energy






Rendering
Floorplans
Construction
About Werner Sobek
About E-Lab Projekt GmbH
About AlphaEOS AG and B10 Future Living Lab
Project participants

Architecture: Werner Sobek, E-Lab Projekt GmbH
Builder: E-Lab Projekt GmbH
Manufacturers: Sky-Frame, CLIPSO, Leicht
Testing and research: AlphaEOS AG and B10 Future Living Lab
Location: Stuttgart, Germany
Year: 2014
Photography: Zooey Braun

Vision

At the beginning of the project was the vision of an innovative and sustainable prefab house, which not only generates all the energy needed in-house from sustainable sources and that can be 100% recycled into the material cycle. The building should also create a link between the built environment and electromobility - and show ways of optimally coordinating energy generation and energy consumption at the local level through a smart grid.

Context

The prefab house is located at Bruckmannweg 10, in the heart of the famous Weissenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart. Built in 1927 within a few months, this settlement on the Killesberg was like a revolution in construction. The designs of various world-famous architects showed how we can build and live in the future. Parts of the Weissenhofsiedlung were destroyed and rebuilt after the war - except for the property in the Bruckmannweg, which lay fallow since 1945. Here, for a period of three years, appears B10, a new forward-looking building that shows how innovative materials, designs and technologies can sustainably improve our design environment.





Project

The research project - named "B10" after its location in Bruckmannweg 10 - is an active house. Thanks to a sophisticated energy concept and self-learning building control, it generates twice as much energy itself - from sustainable sources. With the surplus gained, two electric cars and the listed building of the architect Le Corbusier (since 2006 the home of the Weissenhof Museum) have been supplied. Upon completion of the research project, the prefab house will be completely dismantled, rebuilt elsewhere or 100% recycled. The property is then returned to the city of Stuttgart in its original condition.

In an initial phase of use, interested visitors can find out more about the energy concept and the applied construction technology in B10 prefab house. In the second phase of use, the building will be inhabited free of charge by two students. During the entire project period, energy generation and energy consumption as well as a large number of other highly relevant data for building research are continuously measured and scientifically evaluated at the University of Stuttgart.

Builder

The developer of the project is E-Lab Projekt GmbH, a project company of the non-profit Stuttgart Institute of Sustainability Foundation e.V. (SIS). SIS is a non-profit association. It supports and develops methods and technologies for sustainable construction. SIS combines science with industry and crafts. The association was founded in 2011 and has its headquarters in Stuttgart. Further information can be found at http://www.sis-stiftung.de/verein.php

Modular Construction in Perfection - Modular Homes, Multi-Storey Apartment Buildings and Offices by Variahome, Germany

Modular Construction in Perfection






Variahome stands for sophisticated, architecturally high-quality, turnkey buildings in modular solid wood construction. The future-oriented design of Variahome provides the clients with a wealth of advantages.

Made in the tradition of alpine wood craftsmanship Variahome combines tradition with modernity.

Industrially prefabricated Variahome room modular systems are guarantors for short construction time, highest quality, a particularly aesthetic appearance and offer attractive purchase, financing, rental and leasing models for the commercial and municipal sector.


About Variahome

Modular Construction - Sustainable, Flexible, Turnkey

Shared living of young and old. More space for young families, singles, students, pensioners and the construction of low-cost apartments, this is multi-storey modular housing construction with Variahome.

Affordable housing has become an existential issue for millions of people in Germany. Young families no longer find affordable housing in many major cities. Retirees are forced out of their homes and neighborhoods where they have lived for decades. Who in a big city, for example nurse or bus driver is, who can afford in the city center no more housing. The market demands new flexible living concepts and Variahome has them.





If residential space is to be created quickly, Variahome offers a real alternative to conventional building with ecological, sustainable modular solutions with a prefabrication rate of 98% in the factory.

Benefits

Valuable, sustainable ecological architecture:

Good architecture is permanently valuable. The sooner we get involved in the planning, the more economical and precise the result.

Turnkey delivery and construction with fixed price and term guarantee. Variahome carries out the planning in partnership with client in dialogue in order to best capture client's requirements. So Variahome can implement your room and equipment program precisely.

Of course, Variahome meets all the requirements for fire protection, sound insulation and building physics. All legal standards, regulations and specifications are of course complied with. Even highest energy standards such as Passive or Plus energy modular buildings are possible.

Economical: The short construction time, the high flexibility in use and the adaptability to future requirements make the Variahome modular construction particularly economical. No matter whether you are planning barrier-free living space or are using subsidies for social housing or particularly efficient construction methods. Variahome with its experienced architects adapts the planning 100% to client's needs.

Flexible modular design freedom. With Variahome clients achieve the same freedom of design as they are used to from other building systems. Plaster, wood or brick facades are exactly the same as modern HPL facades. With this freedom in design, Variahome integrates their modular buildings into every urban environment.

Flexible and sustainable: you remain flexible even after installation. Adjustments to changing requirements are not a problem with modular design, as the inner walls are not static bearing and can therefore be moved or removed.

Healthy living with well-being guarantee: By using solid wood, which has a favorable effect on the room humidity and room temperature, Variahome creates a comfortable living atmosphere.

Feel-good apartments: In the interior, modular housing allows for a high degree of flexibility in layouts, since Variahome removes all static loads via the exterior walls. Variahome does not know the limitation of "load-bearing interior walls". So Variahome can realize flexible room concepts. When choosing the ceilings and wall surfaces as well as the floor coverings client has free choice. Variahome realizes living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms in the highest quality and execution.

Prefab Modular Villa, Collonges, Switzerland






Floorplans
About Pierre-Alain Dupraz

Architecture: Pierre-Alain Dupraz
Location: Collonges, Switzerland
Year: 2012
Photos: Thomas Jantscher

Description by the project team 

Located at the base of the mountain overlooking the Geneva basin, the 'house in Collonges', designed by the Swiss office Pierre-Alain Dupraz Architects. Built for a single family, the prefab modular villa is constructed from a series of rectangular prefabricated concrete boxes, paired and stacked one on the side - and on top - of the other, in order to shape the dwelling to the sloping landscape and accommodate programmatic needs.





The south axis rests on a geographic shelf where are the entrance, dining, kitchen, living room and master bedroom areas. The children's bedrooms are found on the lower level, embedded in the slope, overlooking the valley. The neutral gray of the exposed concrete facade is interrupted by light frames and square wooden windows, allowing the prefab modular villa to naturally blend in with its surroundings in green summers and white winters.

Prefab Modular Home in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California





Three on Abbott is a development of three prefabricated, detached homes on the corner of Voltaire & Abbott streets in Ocean Beach. The homes are located near San Diego's best attractions. The project is sensitive to the area's wants and wishes, conforming by-right to all local zoning and ordinances. It was constructed off-site to minimize disturbance to the community and surrounding businesses and are sustainably designed with the area in mind. Large roof decks offer 180 degree views to the water from the channel to the North to the Pacific to the West.


Assembly process
Floor plans
About R&S Tavares Associates
About Champion Home Builders

Project: Three on Abbott
Builders: R&S Tavares Associates, Inc.
                Champion Home Builders
Area: 840 sqf
Bedrooms: 2
Full baths: 3
Year: 2016
Location: San Diego, California
Photos: Pacific Video Productions

Description from R&S Tavares Associates

R&S Tavares Associates, Inc., brings contemporary prefab living to Ocean Beach, a charming beach community close to San Diego's downtown. The project was an effort of Pedro Tavares who started researching the project while attending Woodbury University's Master of Real Estate Development for Architects program in San Diego, headed by Ted Smith, Jonathan Segal, Lloyd Russell, Brett Farrow and Mike Burnett, giants in the San Diego Architect as Developer model. The project was first explored as part of their thesis in that program and continued past graduation where Pedro and a colleague designed, permitted and completed the project as owner-builders.

R&S Tavares Associates, a design and consulting company started by Ralph and Silvana Tavares, also partners in the project, performed the engineering and authored the construction documents for the project. Ralph and Silvana are the country's foremost experts in Modular/Prefabricated building technologies, having worked for various manufacturers throughout the United States since 1987 and branching off on their own in 2000, they have been directly responsible for the design and engineering of thousands of modular projects worldwide from "tiny homes," 100,000+ square foot hospitals and award winning projects such as RADLAB's Quartyard project in San Diego which received a people's choice orchid and Studio E's High Tech High in Chula Vista which won an AIA COTE award. Ralph holds professional Engineering licenses in 42 states currently and Silvana is a New York licensed Architect.





Manufactured and shipped from Champion Home Builders in Corona, CA, the homes were built under extremely rigid constraints imposed by local zoning. They are about 840 square feet each, a block from Dog Beach in Ocean Beach, San Diego. They feature floor to ceiling heights of 13'-0", and are very unique in terms of modular structures in that they contain balloon-framed loft spaces within and overall total module heights of 15'-0" (4.5 meters), utilizing special trailers to keep their overall shipping height under the 17 foot special permit restriction in California. A large roof deck with panoramic views of the water is accessible in each house. Portuguese cobblestone from Porto, Portugal was imported to the Port of Los Angeles along with three Portuguese master masons to create the Copacabana Boardwalk pattern on the driveways by Roc2C.

On-site construction started April 25, 2016 and production of the modules started May 9th. The project was set in one day by Nick Rocco of Rocco Enterprises on May 26th, ahead of schedule to comply with the City of San Diego's Coastal Construction Moratorium which would have not allowed for a crane to be set in the road past Memorial Day.

Prefab Modular Homes by MIMA





MIMA Light - Small Prefab House



MIMA Light floor plans
MIMA Light video

What does it take to own a home? MIMA Light shows that a construction site, 22 weeks time and € 20,000 can already be enough. The idea of ​​a small house, customizable in size and features, is as simple as it is ingenious. The result is a functional design sculpture that also withstands a look behind the façade.

It takes just 22 weeks from personal design, through production and construction, to your own dream home. Whether on the shores of a lake or in the mountains, the basic concept is adaptable and adapts to local conditions. Individual foundation solutions range from concrete floor slabs or supports to special wood foundations. The wooden small modular house has short construction period due to modular system of building elements. At the construction site, the prefabricated modules are only assembled.

For the design of the small units MIMA was inspired by different artists. The sculptural cube seems to float above the ground. It owes this impression to an all-round mirrored pedestal. The other materials shine with noble restraint: Noble metal coating or simple color, every owner can give a MIMA Light a personal touch.





Depending on the customer's requirements, 1.2 meter modules will give a total length between seven and eleven, with a fixed height and width of 3 meters. This results in floor areas of 21 m2 for the smallest, and almost 33 m2 for the largest unit. The individual modules are clearly visible to the outside and act like chain links. A flat roof and internal gutters complete the pure geometry.

The interior is also reserved. Floor and walls made of plywood boards ground the innovative project. While large glass fronts provide a friendly ambience on the front side, it is also possible to make individual façade modules as glass surfaces. Depending on the location, for example in extremely warm conditions, the glass is made thicker and with higher level of protection.

Not only architectural design, but also energy technology puts a lot in this small prefab house. Solar panels are used for the electric boiler, which guarantees the hot water supply.

Kitchen and bathroom form a compact module that can be placed centrally or at one end of the MIMA Light small prefab house. Their position is decisive for the shape of living room and bedroom.

The compact home opens up new perspectives in tourism as well as in the holiday home market and with prices between € 20,000 and € 40,000 is not only affordable for high earners.

Small Prefab Floating Home by KODA





KODA Light Float integrates the small prefab house in floating pontoons enabling extended waterfront properties


About KODA
About TopMarine OÜ

The KODA Light Float opens up the opportunity of using urban or countryside waterfront space. The architecture, design and engineering skills combined enable living near a favourite yacht harbour, on a private lake or on an urban canal.

The versatility of prefab modular housing concept makes the KODA Light Float either a harbour café, artist’s studio, not to mention a summer retreat or a fisherman’s dream.

With its spacious comfort and high ceilings, the fully equipped small prefab floating home has a facade-sized illuminating window. The floating KODA house gives an atmosphere of a mediterranean villa.

Sustainably finished with plywood inside, the KODA Light is as minimalist as it is cosy. The floating terrace creates even more luxury space to be blend into the favourite surroundings.





KODA is a factory-built house and delivered as turnkey.

A standard equipped KODA Light includes an openspace living room, a full-size sleeping area, a shower room with toilet, a kitchen and a wooden terrace – all that on spacious, yet compact 25.8 m2.

The KODA Light has maintained its insulation and strength for year around living in heat and frost, while enabling stacking two units of its own kind on the roof.

The small prefab floating home KODA Light Float offers the opportunity of choosing the most suitable exterior finish as well as the terrace and border materials to your environment. The first being either plywood or timber, the latter offering options between spruce terrace and pine border, or larch terrace with glass border.

Technical details

Dimension of platform6.0 × 12.0 m
Floats 2pcHD Pontoon 1.07× 2.4× 12m
Freeboard with decking0.7m
Tanks 2pc3.3 m3
Weight of platform31 tons
Load capacity4.1 kN/m² (30 tons)
Allowed max wave height0.3m
Allowed current speed1 m/sec
Allowed ice conditionAllowed static ice load, ice moving is not allowed
Massca. 10 tons
Net area25.8 sqm / 277.7 sqft
Area of building perimetre28.8 sqm / 310.0 sqft
External dimensionsL 7226 mm / 23.7 ft
W 3930 mm / 12.9 ft
H 3990 mm / 13.1 ft
Internal dimensionsL 5858 mm / 19.2 ft
W 3416 mm / 11.2 ft
H 3323 mm / 10.9 ft





Structural

Timber frame structure
Mineral wool layer of insulation
200 mm/0.66 ft in walls; 250 mm/0.82 ft in ceiling and floor
Three-ply tempered glass
Snow load 400 kg / sqm
Interior finish plywood 12 mm / 0.039 ft
Exterior finish timber cladding or plywood

Engineering

Electric floor heating
80 l electric boiler
VENTS ventilation system
Water connection DN15
Sewage connection 110mm / 0.36 ft
Electrical connection 20A 3F

Modern German Modular Buildings - Prefab Homes and Offices





The 14 x 10.50 m building consists of five modules. Walls and ceilings were made with wooden surfaces and additionally covered with HPL panels in the wet area. The façade consists of HPL panels. As insulating material wood fiber insulation materials were used. Advantage of the solid wood construction: With the same thermal insulation, the walls can be constructed 6 cm thinner.
Modular Homes
Modular Offices
About Russ Holzbau und Technik

In a time of constant change, the creation of modular building units is becoming increasingly important. Modules from Russ Holzbau und Technik offer growing space as an optimal solution for changing needs. The modular building surfaces are adapted to the respective needs by extending or reducing additional modules.

Regardless of where you are, you can also stay flexible: whether it's a living module, office module, parterre module or back-up module, you can work and live wherever you want. And if you change your location or place of residence, then take your module with you.





Further you will find individual building solutions for offices, residential buildings and sales rooms of Russ Holzbau & Technik.


Airport Lounge Modular Construction at Berlin Tegel Airport






Passengers at Terminal C of the airport Berlin-Tegel have access to a new lounge. The special feature: the three-storey modular building was built from steel modules by Cramo Adapteo in just six weeks of night installation. The fronts of the modules are glazed over a large area, underlining the cuboidal structure of the serial elements, while the lounges offer generous views.


About Cramo Adapteo

Manufacturer: Cramo Adapteo
Product: Steel modules
Building: Airport Lounge
Location: Berlin Tegel Airport
Year: 2017

The new lounge at Terminal C of Berlin's Tegel Airport, which is close to the city center, proves that modular construction is suitable for functional and fast building projects, yet not neglecting design and comfort. Cramo Adapteo, part of the Finnish Cramo Group, placed its prefabricated modules on the apron of the terminal in just six weeks. Since the erection had to take place during the running of the airport, the assembly could only take place at night. To the outside, the building retains a functional character that matches the context, to which the modular design is clearly assigned. The steel construction of each element is visible on the façade, because the individual structures optionally frame large-area glazing and the rooms behind, or outdoor spaces and access area.

From the inside, the glass fronts allow for sweeping views. The lounge areas themselves are designed to meet comfort and service requirements for stays between flights. On the ground floor of the three-storey terminal building there is a reception area and a dining area. In addition to dining tables and chairs, work tables are also available, each equipped with sockets. On the second level comfortable seats were placed directly in front of the panoramic glazing, so that the handling of the aircraft can be observed in the first row. On the third floor is a smoking lounge with ventilation system. The exit to a roof terrace is also possible here, from where takeoffs and landings of the aircraft can be experienced in a more exposed position.





In addition to the transparent interface, which can be shaded by centrally controlled blinds, a generous sense of space is generated with a clear ceiling height of 2.75 m and partially half-height interior walls. Circumferential LED strips at the connection to the ceiling contour and stage the volume. The designed as heating and cooling ceiling space closure ensures the appropriate air conditioning, the supply takes over an air-water pump with MSR technology. Part of the security concept is an escape staircase, fire protection measures, emergency lighting and door monitoring.

Modular Multi-Storey Apartment Building in Bochum, Germany






About Koschany + Zimmer Architects KZA
About ALHO

Client: VonoviaSE
Architects: Koschany + Zimmer Architects KZA
Year: 2018

The close cooperation of a modular construction company, a housing association and an architectural firm is due to the construction of several residential modular multi-storey apartment buildings on the modular principle and in steel modular construction. In a relaxed urban planning arrangement on a newly developed, inner-city plot in Bochum, for example, three Point houses were created, which want to contradict the uniform appearance and repetitive, shapeless image of serial construction.

The Essen-based office Koschany + Zimmer Architekten KZA dealt with the modular construction at an early stage. After a first project in Dortmund, which the architects developed together with the system construction company Alho from Friesenhagen, the cooperation was continued in Bochum. On behalf of the housing company Vonovia, three 4-storey Point houses in the midst of generously designed open spaces were realized. The participants regard the applied modular principle as advantageous for the housing industry as well as for architects and planners.





Planning from the inside out

The Modular Housing Kit developed by KZA and Alho consists of individual module types. These include, for example, a living room and a kitchen, a bedroom with a hallway or a nursery plus a bathroom. From this matrix - a canon of different modules - the apartments are custom-made for the respective location and according to the desired apartment key. Afterwards, the house is created out of this individual mix of apartments. "Normally, architects tend to work in the opposite direction - from outside to inside: there is an urban planning situation from which the building is conceived in its cubature and fitted with floor plans developed from it," explains architect Axel Koschany. "Modular construction is the other way around. It starts with elaborate floor plans - in the end the most important thing for the future residents. Even the most similar apartment types are almost never forced into one and the same cubature due to the different local specifications."

Diversity in modular design and layout

For example, three modular houses, each with 14 residential units, were built in Kaulbachstraße in Bochum in the course of an inner-city rehabilitation measure. As an urban development reaction to the adjacent to the north side 2- and 3-storey neighboring buildings was staggered in coordination with the city. The mezzanine floor jumps back 3 meters on the 4th floor and creates spacious roof terraces. The return could be agreed with the modular design, since this only one module had to be omitted. The systematics of the modular structure remained otherwise unchanged.

The modules are on 17 x 19 m base and 12.5 m high, with 7 one-room, 3 two-room, 2 three-room and 2 four-room apartments, user requirements are covered. The apartments are designed throughout to be barrier-free and wheelchair-friendly. The buildings are centrally accessed via a single-flight staircase and lift system. All apartments on the 1st and 2nd floor have prefabricated balconies, and the apartments on the 3rd floor have rooftop terraces. Arrangement of freestanding Point Houses ensures a varied appearance. The funnel-shaped outer space zones leave room for differently designed open spaces. Green tenants' gardens, playgrounds and other dwellings are planned here.

Profitability factor of prefabrication

Each building consists of 43 room modules. These were manufactured at Alho plant for seven weeks and under ongoing quality controls. At the construction site, the modules were ultimately assembled in seven days per house. The entire construction period of the three modular buildings was - after the ground was prepared - 20 weeks.

"The modular construction can always exploit its advantages if the structural units that are as constant as possible are repeated. That's why we talk about serial modular construction. So that these module types are not built into uniform houses, we work together with architects like KZA. They bring creative input by playing with the building blocks and exploiting their potential in terms of design," explains Michael Lauer, architect at the multi-storey building competence center at Alho.

The projects in Dortmund and Bochum are the first of a series of residential construction projects that will be completed with the developed modular system later this year. The project partners are planning to further optimize the system and to expand new components, such as new module units.

Diversity in modular construction

In Bochum, an exemplary modular construction project proves that series and individuality are not mutually exclusive. On a newly developed, inner-city plot, three modular Point Houses have been created with a loose, urban arrangement and a staggered cubature.

As one of the first manufacturers of prefab modular buildings in steel module construction, ALHO offers sophisticated solutions in multi-storey housing construction. For the housing company VONOVIA, the company is currently (2018) realizing a series of residential buildings based on a modular system. The concept was developed together with Koschany + Zimmer Architekten KZA from Essen. Instead of developing the building out of the urban situation, the process of serial construction begins with the smallest scalable serial element, the module. Depending on the room requirement, these individual elements are put together individually. This is how well-designed floor plans and a large range of cubatures are created with modular prefab units.

The ensemble of the three Point Houses is already the second housing project that was realized together with KZA. It was created in the course of an urban development densification in Bochum. The buildings are four-storeyed and offer space for 14 continuously accessible housing units of different sizes. There is no basement, but all apartments have a sufficiently large storage room and on each ground floor a technology module is arranged. Overall, the Point Houses are made up of 43 room modules. They were manufactured in the factory within seven weeks under strict quality controls at ALHO and installed at the construction site per house within seven days. The total construction time of the three buildings was just under 20 weeks after the ground was prepared with the floor slab.

Contrary to popular belief that modular buildings are boring, the architects were able to make the three residential buildings in Bochum exciting: With the fourth floor projecting back, the design responds to the two- and three-storey neighboring buildings adjoining the north side. At the same time, the staggering of the building cubatures visually revives the facades. In terms of urban planning, the arrangement of the Point Houses, which is rotated towards each other, creates a sense of relaxation: funnel-shaped interspaces that provide space for differently designed recreational areas - from green tenants' gardens to varied playgrounds.


"Woodie" Student Dormitory - Timber Prefab Modular Building in Hamburg, Germany






Interior
Construction
About dormitory
About architect

Project: Woodie
Client: Third PRIMUS Projekt GmbH - a joint venture of Primus and Senectus
Architect: Sauerbruch Hutton, Berlin
Location: Dratelnstrasse 32, 21109 Hamburg (DE)
Construction: 12/2016 - 09/2017
Project cost: 37.000.000 EUR
Photos: Thomas Ebert, Gotz Wrage

The prefabricated cross laminated timber modules of this student dormitory in Hamburg were developed in close cooperation between the architects of Sauerbruch Hutton, the client and the module manufacturer Kaufmann Bausysteme. A manageable number of design details and the restriction to two module types have made this an efficient as well as inexpensive building possible.

For the time- and cost-efficient realization of the "Woodie" dormitory in the Wilhelmsburg district of Hamburg, the client's decision was made to involve a wood module manufacturer directly after the architectural competition. Following the direct commissioning, Kaufmann Bausysteme, together with the architects and structural engineers at Merz Kley, set about optimizing the area of the apartments.





The definition of the performance limits was essential, which ultimately led to the module builders being responsible not only for module production but also for the directly adjacent trades: the construction of prefabricated concrete floor structures, the production and assembly of all larch wood facades and roof waterproofing. The resulting benefits include fewer and more precise interfaces as well as subcontractor workflows that are clearly tailored to the modular design, ultimately resulting in more quality, fewer defects, shorter construction time, and therefore cost-effective solutions.

All modules were prefabricated complete with interior fittings, finished bathrooms, windows and doors, stored temporarily, packed in a watertight package, delivered to Hamburg just in time, and immediately lifted to the correct position with a crane. An intermediate storage on the construction site was not provided, not least for reasons of space. A maximum of four modules could be produced per day.

The serial production of the modules on a kind of production line brought numerous advantages in terms of accelerated assembly time and a short construction time. Added to this is the fact that assembly processes in workshop conditions and on the ground are generally cheaper and faster feasible than on site. Even more important, however, is the higher quality and precision achievable thereby, without which a modular construction of this type would not have been feasible.

Efficient sound control for timber-constructed prefab modular student residence

On six floors, 100 metres in length and made of solid wood, 371 student flats are strung out in the district of Wilhelmsburg in Hamburg. This makes "UDQ" the biggest timber student residence in Europe and the tallest timber building in Hamburg.

Inspired by the stacked containers in the Port of Hamburg, “UDQ” is made up of prefabricated timber modules that are stacked on top of and next to one other. The whole construction sits on a base of reinforced concrete. Each of the 20 m2 apartments is fully furnished – with bed, bathroom, built-in wardrobe, kitchenette and folding table. Where necessary, single modules can also be combined to create larger apartments.

Effective sound insulation is essential on a project such as this. That is why Getzner was brought on board as experts by contractor Kaufmann Bausysteme GmbH.

THE SOLUTION

To prevent sound transmission between the apartments, the individual modules were bedded on Sylodyn® from Getzner. Timber was chosen as a building material due to its ecological properties and the warm interior ambience it creates. The modules were pre-fitted with Sylodyn® linear supports at the factory for reliable soundproofing.

"Sound mainly propagates through the flanking of the modules. Using elastic bearings, means we have been able to almost completely eliminate sound transmission between the individual modules", explains Hendrik Reichelt, Project Manager at Getzner.

Additional Information:

Timber construction modules: Kaufmann Bausysteme GmbH, Reuthe (AT)
Structural Design Modules: Merz Kley Partner, A-Dornbirn
Structural Design Concrete Construction / Building Physics: Wetzel & von Seht, Hamburg
Landscape Architecture: Sinai Gesellschaft von Landschaftsarchitekten mbH

Livingbox Modular Home - typological, constructive and bioclimatic solutions, transportation, customization, environmental impact, thermal efficiency and building automation






Mass Customisation and Sustainability in Housing

ZEMCH2014
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
4th - 6th June 2014
Londrina - Paraná - Brazil


Livingbox Modular Habitative Unit

Antonio Frattari

Civil Environmental and Mechanical Engineering Department,
University of Trento, Italia



Abstract
Introduction
Modular home transportation
Modular home typological solutions
Modular home customization
Modular home constructive solutions
Modular home environmental impact
Modular home bioclimatic solutions
Modular home thermal efficiency
Modular home building automation
Modular home prototype
Conclusion
References

Abstract

The project of a minimum expandable living unit: LIVINGBOX has been developed at the Laboratory of Building Design of the University of Trento (Italy). It can be used as a minimum dwelling for two people (40.50 m2) or as a hotel room (18 m2 + optional spaces) finished in every detail: interior finishing, furniture and technological systems.





The furniture is integrated in walls and the inner space is flexible and changeable. The furniture, the inner spatial organization and the inner and outdoor finishing are customizable. The modular home is built joining two precast modules. The dimensions of a single module are cm 249 x 999 x 300. LIVINGBOX has been designed to minimize the impact of the building on environmental matrixes: water, air, soil. The materials used are natural, recyclable or recycled. It is characterized by extensive use of wood to limit CO2 emission into the atmosphere and it was designed as Zero Energy House. To reach this target it is equipped with systems for producing energy from renewable sources, so as to minimize use of fossil energy. In addition the modular home is a low consumption building. The envelop transmittance value is between 0.20 and 0.25 W/m2
K, and the thermal lag of 10-15 h. To optimize the relationship between comfort and energy consumption LIVINGBOX is equipped with a modular home automation system. A prototype at real scale has been
built as so to verify the real building possibilities. It was displayed in Milano (Italy) at beginning of October 2013 at the “MADE EXPO 2013”. The prototype was transported by 2 trucks from Roma to Milano to Campobasso (more or less 1500 Km) for testing the effective transportability and we could verify no inconvenience or crack on the interior and on the furniture. This is also a real demonstration that it is earthquake resistant building.

Luxury and Cheap Modular Homes - Young Family Friendly Homes





Modular home for young families - home that grows with you. As number of children increases, modular home grows larger - and later smaller again.


Floorplans
Construction Video
About SchwörerHaus

Living as flexible as life would have to be: a house that grows with increasing numbers of children and shrinks again when family members move out. Modular houses are a modern trend in the field of prefabricated construction.

A family changes over the years. First, two people move into a house, then a third, maybe even a fourth person is added. More space is needed. Years later, a few residents gradually move out again. In the end, maybe only one will stay behind - and less space is needed again. Homes that take part in all these situations would be nice - and they already exist: Thanks to their modular design, buildings can grow or shrink.





The individual configuration of products is becoming increasingly important in many areas - and the trend is rising. Horst Wildemann, a professor at the Technical University of Munich, is an expert in serial construction and prophesies: "What has long been the norm when buying a car will also prevail in the home market." But that goes far beyond the individual planning on the computer according to the wishes of the clients - it goes all the way to future with modular extensions.


"Individual modules made from lightweight components are industrially prefabricated in line with the model of the automobile industry and then put together on the construction site," says Prof. Wildemann, explaining the production of a modular building. Quasi-finished house areas are brought as a whole on the construction sites.

Ecological zone in Norway brings together experimental prefab and sustainable architectural designs






Experimental and sustainable projects
Kindergarten in a car shop

District in Trondheim concentrates young architects, students and artists who build their own homes and buildings.

On one of those days of blue sky and intense cold, typical of late winter in Norway, I walked a short distance in a district in the center of Trondheim. The area where 240 people live is somewhat peculiar and is different from the rest of the country. In the kindergarten built in a car shop, I found two sheep eating grass and I saw, through the large glass windows, a group of children snacking on round tables. In the district there are also art installations, graffiti, prefab sustainable homes built by the residents themselves and a sense of community and belonging. I'm in Svartlamon, an experimental ecological zone - unique in urban planning in Norway.

Modular Prefab Annex to Weekend House by SOA






Architect: SOA Soler Orozco Arquitectos
Project: Casa Molina
Location: Morelos, México
Year: 2015
Photos: Cesar Béjar

Given the homeowner´s need to minimize all on-site work and construction time to as low as possible for this modular prefab annex to weekend house, prefabricated structure was considered as the best cost-effective and sustainable option. The modular prefab annex includes two bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a large terrace for common use.





Prefab modules has an important constraint in their design, the dimensions of prefab elements could not exceed maximum dimensions for truck transportation. Architects planned prefab modules measuring up to 2.4 m by 7.2 m, the standard maximum size of a freight truck platform commonly used for building materials delivery, which also perfectly optimized the use of construction elements and metal sections for the frame and structure. The entire prefab module was put together in the controlled environment of remote workshop, with internal plumbing, electrical installations, light roofing, as well as preliminary ceiling, wall, and floor finishes in the bathroom spaces. 

On site, the ground work had been done and the concrete foundations had been prepared to receive the modular prefab annex. Once there, the prefab modules were assembled and installed, windows and doors put in place, bathroom accessories, lighting, and fixtures installed, and exterior natural stone was applied, before the final finishes and details were attended to.

Mirrored Glass Prefabricated Cabins in Maldonado, Uruguay






Plans
Installation Video
Location
About architects

Project: Sacromonte Landscape Hotel
Area: 60 sqm
Architecture: MAPA
Location: Maldonado, Uruguay
Photography: Leonardo Finotti
Year: 2017-2018

Sliced logs and mirrored glass form the facade surfaces of these prefabricated cabins designed by architects from MAPA, which are located in a beautiful vineyard in Uruguay.

The mirrored glass prefabricated cabins stand on the Sacromonte vineyard with an area of 101-hectare. The vineyard is set within a picturescue valley of dense green grassland crossed by water streams.

Local land owner wanted a hotel that "combined architecture, productive land, hospitality, and landscape", which MAPA with offices in Brazil and Uruguay, helped to create.





The Sacromonte Landscape Hotel comprises 13 prefabricated cabins placed at various locations throughout the valley so that guests can see and enjoy unique and beautiful perspectives and views of the verdant surroundings.

Each steel-frame prefab cabin was assembled in a 10 weeks in Montevideo and after the off-site construction being complete the units were transported 200 kilometres to Maldonado.

"Prefabrication process appears as an ideal solution if you want to achieve high levels of comfort in remote areas", architect Sebastian Lambert told.

MAPA has completed several prefabrication projects. The architects placed a pair of prefab guesthouses in Brazil, on a historic coffee plantation, and has designed a prefab dwelling in an olive grove in Uruguay.

While the prefab cabin's front facade has been crafted from modern material, mirrored glass, its rear elevation is built from stacked wood logs meant to emulate and reflect the appearance of classic woodpiles typically found in local rural settings. The natural stone bases that used for support of the prefab cabins are erected on building site, shaped to perfectly suit each individual cabin's features of specific plot of land.

Cabins roofs have also been covered with appropriate to the landscape camouflaging greenery, and outer peripheral walls feature slatted custom timber sliding screens.

Internally the 60-square-metre prefab cabins completed with a fireplace, cosy reading nook, and a living area with windows that face directly onto the surrounding landscape. The valley will also have a wine tasting hilltop terrace, a restaurant, and a pitched, open-air chapel.


Description from architects:

SACROMONTE CRAFTED WINES | LANDSCAPE HOTEL

Sacromonte is an invitation to meet with the remote nature and the world of fine wines, where sophistication and originality coexist in a new landscape experience.

Its lands of more than 100 hectares (250 acres) are located in a privileged location: the wild mountains of eastern Uruguay. Equidistant from Punta del Este, Jose Ignacio and Pueblo Garzon, it forms a unique ecosystem of enjoyment, of which it is part with its own spirit.

SACROMONTE AS A FIELD OF EXPERIENCES

Sacromonte is a landscape. It is a field of relational forces, of old intensities and new impulses that coexist in a new unprecedented entity.

Thus, nature, production, infrastructures, buildings and energy constitute a field of stimuli to discover, a field of experiences.

SACROMONTE AS A FIELD OF EXPERIENCES

It is a field of forces inter-related between veloces intensities and nova impulses that constitute a unit of precedent.

In this landscape young vineyards interact that adapt to the characteristics of their soils, a hill from which to understand the landscape, green areas of meadow, two reserves of natural water and several streams that run through the valleys surrounded by dense native vegetation. The contemporary explorer is in charge of traversing them and drawing his own script through various scenarios of which he is co-protagonist next to the landscape.





SACROMONTE SHELTERS, A PREFAB EXPERIENCE OF THE LANDSCAPE

The rooms of Sacromonte are born in a factory in the metropolitan area of Montevideo. It is a fast process, less than 10 weeks, to be transported

more than 200km in a single day. When leaving the city behind, the rooms stop being, to become refuges of landscape, stop being objects to become experiences.

In its modular metal structure, which combines steel framing and light steel framing, the simplicity of construction and the efficient use of materials are paramount. Their endings are simple and forceful, the materials are used according to their nature.

In contrast, the walls received by the prefab modules are simultaneously built in place with local stones that take on various organic shapes and are adapted to enable each implantation. They are complete with circular pools that integrate a new sensory experience of the landscape.

The spaces are organized in a sequence of longitudinal layers of different thicknesses between which life develops. The back facade is composed of a stack of wooden trunks that recalls the stacks of firewood typical of life in nature.

The next layer houses the wet areas of bathroom and kitchen, a wood stove and a deep hole ideal for reading a book or a nap sheltered in the landscape. Separated by a wooden plan, it follows the main bedroom, living and dining room, which opens completely to the landscape it faces, being part of it.

The frontal facade is made up of a mirrored glass that covers the prefab cabin with an almost magical effect, positioning it in a tense boundary: between the camouflage and nature and the unreal brilliance of today's technology.


Hotel Revier - Simple and Luxury Modular Hotel in Switzerland






Architects Carlos Martinez Architekten
Location Lenzerheide, 7078 Vaz/Obervaz, Switzerland
Year 2017
Area 4100 m2
Photography Hannes Thalmann, Marc Lins, Revier Mountain Lodge

Construction Process
Plans

Trend-oriented, authentic and natural. When a sports hotel is reduced to the essentials, a feeling of freedom in the face of life and an unconventional architectural concept arise. The long, narrow building perches on the edge of the steep terrain with the mountain forest in the background. The two slightly angled elements of the building follow the shore of the Heidsee.

The front of the building with lobby, bar and restaurant is in a cozy way aligned to the entrance of the Rothornbahn and forms the common center of the hotel. Around four more floors with a total of 96 rooms are compatible with this massive ground floor floor, where the winter sports hall and the large bicycle room are located.





The modular hotel combines the atmosphere of a mountain lodge with the liberating feel of a motorhome and the functionality of a ship's cabin. All rooms are oriented to the west, towards the water and remind of the picture of a VW bus: A park at the lake opens the tailgate and feels a sense of freedom. A large wall-to-wall bed and a room-high panoramic window with ventilation wings reinforce this impression. The rooms are optimized to only 15 square meters. The ceilings, floors and walls are built in modules of unfinished natural plywood: columns, partitions and interior fittings, all in one.

The arrangement of the rooms next to each other creates a double wall effect, which also ensures better sound insulation. The bathroom is installed in a multifunctional box. The fully equipped room modules were prefabricated, allowing for precise execution and rapid design and assembly.

Modern technology and design without influencing come together here, of course. This is obvious both inside and out. The metal façade of the foundation with a vertical design surface, the abstractly arranged window slots and the glazing from the floor to the ceiling testify to thriftiness. On the façade of the four floors of the rooms, the individual modules are highlighted by the protruding metal cladding, and the building is clearly a wooden structure with vertical larch strips, untreated.

The special feature of this luxury modular hotel are its individual rooms, which are inspired by the image of a VW bus. A large wall-to-wall bed, a floor-to-ceiling picture window with narrow air vents and a deep sill and a compact, box-shaped bathroom add to this space. Countless well thought-out details make the rooms special. The heating element in a corner to dry the clothes. The bed can be used as a sofa for watching TV and relaxing and an automatic folding device simplifies this transformation.

The standard rooms, each the width of a bed, are optimized to only 15 square meters. There are also 4 rooms without barriers and 28 rooms with three beds. Each cabin is designed as a room module made of spruce planks, which form the columns, the room dividers and the interior in one. The effect of a double wall is achieved by placing the rooms next to each other, which also ensures better sound insulation. The prefabricated modules are suitable for this design and offer the decisive advantage of high-quality workmanship as well as construction and assembly on site.


Modular Home with Self-Driving Room: Honda IeMobi






Photo
Video

In Tokyo Motor Show 2017 Honda showcased a "Self-Driving Room" called Honda IeMobi Concept. The six wheels room-type minivan, whose name is coined from the Japanese word ie (house) and "mobility", has a 5 sq. m. area and can be attached to a modular house for use as a living room.

Description from Honda:

For the near-future society where everything is connected digitally, Honda will provide a modes of warm, face-to-face “connection.” The Honda IeMobi Concept connects to the home seamlessly, connecting electricity and entertainment information from car to home, and home to car. When parked, IeMobi becomes a “room” with around 5 m2 of living space. By using IeMobi matching the user’s lifestyle, such as a guest room to invite friends, or a mobile pantry for weekend shopping, new possibilities in mobility and lifestyle are born.




Honda IeMobi is a concept module of the smart modular house, but one which you can hop into and drive off in at your leisure.


5 Hours Install Time Prefab House - CasaMONTAÑA, Spain






Manufacturing Process
Plans
Architect Contact

Architect [baragaño]
Project CasaMONTAÑA
Area 100 m2
Location Asturias, Spain
Year 2016
Manufacturing Time 4 month
Install Time 5 hours
Photos Verónica Carreño, Mariela Apollonio

[From b. Lat. Focāris, adj. Der. Of focus, fire]
Place where the fire is made. House. Group of people living together.

"The house is the coat."
- Álvaro Siza

"The house is a dwelling machine."
- Le Corbusier

English clients, in love with Asturias, decide that their second home will be industrialized. Produced during four months in a factory in Madrid and transferred to its final location at 600 km, crossing the Cantabrian mountain range, where it will assemble in only 5 hours. Finally, the black slate roof is placed by a craftsman of the zone. Technology and tradition in the days of Brexit.

The project is developed in two levels, with a simple program that groups the installations in one of the three modules of 2.15 x 5.30 m that conform it. The metal staircase is the central element of the dwelling, around which the program runs and which dialogues with the chimney suspended from the living room. The upper floor contains the two rooms, separated by a light polycarbonate wall that sifts the light.

A prefab home for an English landscaper and his family, actively developed with clients, involved in the project from the very begining outset, showing absolute respect for the rural environment where it is located. A wonderful complex formed by an "hórreo" and a traditional dwelling, in process of rehabilitation is tourist accommodation, that still keep alive the project.

New ways of conceiving housing, a high quality product, that tries to approach to the automotive and aeronautics industry, that allows a future growth of the building offers a way of using the space in a much more dynamic, versatile and rational way.

Prefab Modular System

The fact of produce our prefab homes in a factory and transporte them to the site completely finished, apart from get more control over the quality of work, means several advantages which are listed below.

1. Costs and lead time reduction and therefore faster benefits [4 months].

2. Higher security at work and reduction of potential working risks.

3. High quality construction, meeting the requirements of the CTE and energy Efficiency.

4. Different materials option. Adaptable and exportable housing [Growing Houses].

5. Option of relocate the house in other place [Mobility].

6. Real sustainability from the way of building and used materials. Optimization and Recycling.

7. Noise, discomfort and waste reduction. The main work is done at the factory.

8. Project, design, manufacture and assembly of the prefab house.

9. Structural Safety and precision, overall in earthquake zones.

10. Accessible Housing and elevator option.

The system used for the housing construction is a modular three-dimensional components system manufactured in assembly. The main structure is composed of galvanized steel sheet elements with rigid joints solved by welding, fulfilling all requirements set by the CTE.

The modular construction system manufacturing assembly line not only seeks to optimize energy resources, human and material, but also to optimize in benefit of customization and adaptation of the building.


Prefab Modular House Wikkelhouse, Holland







1. Photos
2. Installation
3. Video
4. Manufacturer Contact
5. Links

Fiction Factory, once a theater scenery company, has expanded its design and construction initiative to include a prefabricated modular home, the Wikkelhouse. The design utilizes high strength cardboard as a main element of the structure. During the production process, the house-shaped mold is wrapped with 24 layers of cardboard — leading to the origin of the structure’ name, which in english loosely translates to ‘wrap house.’ Using the same main components in each structure, the design of each home can differ greatly in terms of overall size and individualized features.

Since Fiction Factory’s initial introduction of Wikkelhouse, the company has successfully installed the structure in various different environments — both natural and urban. One of Wikkelhouse’s natural application remains in London’s Amber Lakes, a nature reserve close to the bustling city. Urban applications include the house’s installation in Rotterdam Red Apple Marina floating alongside the boats and as an office for OVG Real Estate Services in Amsterdam. The company has also experimented with placing the lightweight structure of  prefab modular house on a rooftop of a former coal storage facility in the Hoxton Docks area of London.

Wikkelhouse is made up of 1.2 meter deep segments that can easily be connected and disconnected. The modular setup makes the house highly flexible. Add extra segments for extra meters. Create your own floorplan. Change it later. Truly anything goes.

Each Wikkelhouse is tailor-made by specialized craftsmen. Extra windows, different finishings or your own color scheme - you can make Wikkelhouse even more to your liking.

Wikkelhouse is sustainably produced and made of materials that have minimal impact on the environment. Moreover, the segments can be reused over and over again and are 100% recyclable.

With a weight of only 500 kg per segment, Wikkelhouse doesn't need a foundation and can be placed anywhere you want your prefab modular house to be. On the beachside, in your backyard or even on a rooftop. Looking for a change of scenery? Just move the house to a different spot.