Case History: Prefabricated Houses Prefabricated houses, as opposed to houses built conventionally from the ground up, have a history that goes back at least 175 years, when some of the first were shipped out to Australia and South Africa from England. One of the largest programmes of prefabricated house building was in the United Kingdom, following the destruction of World War II. Over 150,000 were constructed in various designs, typically 2bedroom units with around 60 square metres of floor space.
They came predecorated, with a fitted kitchen and bathroom connected to a service unit. They were made to a much higher specification than the houses they replaced. They cost in the region of Â£1200 to build, which was more than a conventional brickbuilt house at that time. They were expected to last only for 1015 years, although some are still occupied today, seventy years later. Today, similar construction techniques are widely used for temporary buildings such as site offices.
And for â€œmobile homesâ€�. For permanent housing, people look to prefabricated construction either for or style and quality for example in the German Huff Haus or for low cost. A prefabricated house might cost â‚¬40,000 excluding the land; a similar, conventionally built house might cost â‚¬60,000. The SML house, â€œSMLâ€� standing for â€œSmall, Medium, Largeâ€�, is a demonstration project by the Universidad Cardenal Herrera in Valencia; 0:01:50.100,0:01:55.000 this adds a third factor flexibility. The idea is that the building can change in size to match the changing needs of the occupants.
The configuration we are about to see is a â€œMediumâ€� design a 74 square metre house with kitchen, bathroom, livingdining area, home office and bedroom, together with a service module and an enclosed patio area. The SML House could be made larger by adding more modules, or smaller by removing modules. Construction The six modules were prefabricated at a size that makes them suitable for road transport. A metal base has been preassembled. This allows for any variations.
In level on the site and also creates a service area underneath the modules. One of the main advantages of the house, starting from its concept, is that it’s designed so it can be located anywhere that is irregular, the ground does not have to be uniform. You see, the foundation is formed with a large number of screw jacks so we can adapt to unevenness in the ground. The loading on the screw jacks is very light so there is not much tension.
The house is built in modules so we can transport it on a modified truck We can erect these modules in larger or smaller combinations depending on the requirements of the project. Once the modules are installed, which takes a very short time usually between 1 hour and 1 hour 15 minutes per module the module is completely sealed, meaning we can work in bad weather. But the big advantage is that we can adapt to a ny terrain, however irregular.
Another advantage is orientation we can align the house as we want it so it can make best use of solar power and the house can be selfsufficient and not need any mains electrical supply. So now, the way the house is oriented, it’s selfsufficient and fully functional. A key objective was to demonstrate that the house could generate enough electrical power to be self sufficient, so there are photovoltaic panels on the roof of each module. And also on walls that face towards the sun.