Here at Safety Fabrications we strive to keep all our readers up to date with the latest happenings in the construction industry. As such, we’ve already mentioned the trend towards modular building techniques and some of the benefits they bring to construction companies. We’ve listed the benefits of off-site construction, reported on the long lifespan of those prefabs used on a temporary basis in the wake of the Second World War and described how the use of prefabrication is likely to change the construction industry in the UK.
Modular building (also dubbed prefabrication or prefab) is on the increase and it will come a no surprise to some that it’s possible to buy flat-pack homes, a development that could go a long way to addressing the housing crisis here in Britain. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the types of prefabricated or modular buildings that are on offer nowadays, proving that prefabs are now designed with 21st Century living in mind.
One of the most widely-known types of “instant housing” is the HUF HAUS, homes designed in the Bauhaus tradition based on a “frame house” design. The first one was designed in 1972 and the principles of this construction are still the standard in all HUF houses. The houses are built mainly from wood and glass and can be tailored to individual requirements around the main stylistic elements. Production is limited to just 200 houses annually, 50 of which are exported to the UK. The very latest HUF houses are triple glazed with under floor heating and feature a photovoltaic system that nearly covers the roof, making them eco-friendly and energy efficient, setting a new standard for Sustainable Construction here in the UK.
Next comes the Passivhaus – homes created to feature low energy use and have a minimal impact on the environment. Passive House is a strict but voluntary standard for energy efficiency in buildings, reducing their ecological footprint so that they require very little energy for space heating or cooling. Passiv Houses are increasingly available in flat pack form and are advertised as being “ideal for anyone who wants to build their own home”. The parts of the home are made in a factory and delivered to the build site. This means that the actual, on-site build is simplified and happens much faster than the build of a conventional building.
However, the customer has to do the preparation work in advance – laying the groundworks and foundations of the house. There is a list of design types for prospective customers to choose from, all in sustainable materials such as timber oak frames. These homes offer a comfortable living environment that’s economical to run. The buildings are airtight and the ventilation system removes stale air and returns heat to the house. This is combined with efficient insulation and, with the warmth given off by electrical appliances, the homeowner may not need extra heating at all. Solar panels can be installed to cover additional energy needs.
These are the types of homes we’re likely to be seeing more of in the future in the UK. When it comes to flat pack, anybody who’s bought IKEA furniture will know that things don’t always go to plan. This is why IKEA offers an assembly service, with somebody coming to your home and putting together the products for you. Are there any canny builders out there wanting to future-proof their business? If so, offering a flat pack home assembly service could be a great business venture over the coming years.