Today’s Pre-Fab Housing

modular home being constructed

From small to large, and basic to luxurious, there’s a pre-fab home for everyone. Here are some examples of modern prefab homes and construction.


Pre-fab housing is an efficient building method. Because homes are built in factories, contractors are not subjected to unstable weather. No work days lost means a quicker turn-around time, less cost for customers, job security for workers, and steadier business for the builder.

A pre-fab home is not the stereotypical ‘trailer’, which doesn’t have a great reputation for beauty, durability, or energy efficiency. But pre-fabs are different. Regular building materials are used, and nowadays they are energy efficient and built to or above standard code. They are even appraised as homes, whereas trailers are not.

Partly because of a still sluggish economy, pre-fab homes are gaining in popularity. Here are two that I like.

The carbon positive house

The Archiblox Carbon Positive House (CPH) has been in the news lately. It is the first carbon positive pre-fab to be produced. This Australian design and architecture firm specializes in pre-fab homes, and now they have created a line that makes more energy than it uses.

The CPH is smaller than other Archiblox designs at 828-1237 sq ft. All are packed with functionality, beauty, and eco-friendly features.

Solar panels provide electricity and hot water. Passive solar orientation, underground cooling tubes, roof and floor insulation, a green roof, and an airtight envelope help keep summer and winter outdoors. Windows are placed for ventilation and air circulation. An exterior portable and edible green wall can be moved across the windows for shade and to the side to take advantage of the sun’s heat. A greenhouse or sunroom with a built-in garden is also a buffer from the elements.

Lumber is FSC Certified, paints are plant-based, fixtures have LED lights, all windows are double pane, the south side is bermed, and countertops have green certification.

The interior has a clean and uncluttered look, which echoes the simplicity and cleanliness of a life with no fossil fuels.


I have been looking at pre-fabs for years, and I found that the ones I liked most were manufactured far from home. Shipping would have been impossible or prohibitively expensive.

MEKA has solved the distance problem with their new design. Modular units are based on the size of a shipping container, so they can be transported anywhere a shipping container can go. MEKA builds their own container for transport out of recycled steel. There are no awkward sizes to accommodate, so their homes are affordable.

A couple of their design lines are hurricane and earthquake proof. Homes can be as small as a beach camp (200 sq ft) or as large as a roomy family home (1920 sq ft). They offer retail, educational, and multi-story buildings as well, as they work with urban planners on sensible development. They also collaborate with people who want to live in houseboats or ecovillages. MEKA is pretty versatile, and now they are worldwide!

Something for everyone

Pre-fab tacky stigma be gone! If you want a luxury home without the luxury price tag, look into C3 Design. These pre-fab homes will offer energy efficiency and green features for less than a site built home of the same caliber.

Ideabox started out with a 400 sq ft home which is accurately referred to as ‘hip’. I love it! They have several designs now up to 1700 sq ft, but they have also created a Mini RV, a la tiny home.

No matter what corner of the world you live in, you can find a pre-fab home. From New Zealand to Denmark to Utah, there’s a pre-fab to suit anyone reading this.

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