Prefab homes have always been a part of the Dwell DNA. Here you will find prefab homes published in dwell magazine as well as great prefab home ideas. Prefabricated means either panelized, modular, or kit homes. Prefab architecture works for both remote sites and dense urban spaces. Modular homes are popular but can be the most expensive to customize. It is best to change as little as possible when buying prefab. Possible advantages of pre fab include lower cost, higher degree of precision, and less construction waste.

Landscape architect Charles M. McCulloch designed pathways of locally sourced decomposed granite that lead to accessible, raised planting beds, a request from the Mahers, who are avid gardeners.
Simpatico Homes founder Seth Krubiner has lived in the prefab company’s nearly net-zero prototype since it was customized and lifted onsite in 2011.
“It’s a beautiful part of the world,” says architect Alan Dickson about Scotland's Isle of Skye. “The downside of that beauty is that land is expensive and very difficult for young people to afford, so they’re leaving the island.” In 2010, Dickson, of the Skye-based firm Rural Design, and local builder James MacQueen came up with a solution: a small timber-frame prefab design called the R.House, which can be constructed quickly and tucked onto less expensive lots that don’t appeal to well-heeled holiday homeowners.

Photo by Marcus McAdam.
Vo Trong Nghia Architects utilized passive design strategies and a double roof, constructed from Nipa palm and corrugated cement, to ventilate the home, an important consideration in a humid, tropical environment.
The key to the home's relative affordability is the selection of materials. A prefabricated frame is covered in natural materials, such as Nipa palm, that can be easily replaced and maintained, while seamlessly blending in with the surrounding environment.
"It was erected in one and a half days; the modulars went up in one day, the stairs went up the next," Garrison says. The construction process can be viewed in a video on Garrison's blog. Photo by Josef Samuel.
Costing just under $4,000 to build, the S House prototype provides affordable, durable shelter in a region where homes often need to be rebuilt every few years.
The back of the house has sliding doors that open far enough to expose the entire livingroom to the families' back yard.
Les Jours Meilleurs House (1956)

The "better days" house was inspired by the plight of a homeless woman and child, who passed away in the cold on a Paris street in 1954. After an appeal by the famous priest Abbé Pierre to solve the social housing crisis, Prouvé developed this 50-square-meter, low-budget prototype, which boasted a kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms.
The exterior walls of the structure are industrial wire cages filled with locally sourced basalt.
More than 4,000 people have visited the home since it was constructed last fall. The home's exterior is actually a fabric skin you can touch, a better physical experience than plaster, and part of the architect's vision for more comfortable living. "How does the building smell, is there temperature distribution all over the building, does the air flow?" he says. "We need to design the tactile parts of a building, too."
While architect Werner Sobek chose the name "active house," a contrast to the passive house philosophy of efficency and conservation, the incredible energy production achieved by the B10 wouldn't be possible without a next-level envelope. Utilizing opaque surfaces and a vacuum-insulated, frameless glass front, the model home achieves a super-tight seal; the terrace even folds up to completely shield the home from sun when residents are gone. "When we started building these research homes in 2000, we were making passive homes, but have always wanted to get around the limits of small windows and lots of insulation and make something active," says Sobek. The home is outfitted with Knoll furniture and kitchen furnishings by Leicht Küchen and Hansgrohe.
This flexible prototype, which can be subdivided with partitions for a more defined floor plan, will be a model for further developments, according to Sobek. He wants to bring these advances to taller, six- or eight-story structures and reduce the time it takes to install this prefab home from 24 to 18 hours, creating plug and play technology that can be a boon for future urban development. "As urban centers become more and more dense, these prefabricated units make more and more sense," he says. "They're light, require no workers on site or stir up any dust. Within the next 12 months, we will see several variations and the next generation of B10."
A self-learning heating and power system inside the home utilizes a series of radio sensors inside and outside, as well as on the home's electric cars, to constantly compare and learn, not only adjusting to temperature differences and behavioral patterns but forecasting them. If it's going to be warm tomorrow, the home will anticipate when to stop heating the home and divert the overflow to the Le Corbusier building.  Researchers at the University of Stuttgart studying the home have nearly nine months of data to work on, and after a family begins living in the home this spring, they'll be able to improve the system's performance with real-world data.
Samarth Bicycle Trailer, prototype. Radhika Bhalla (Indian, b. 1983). Designed United States, deployed India, 2008–present. Locally sourced bamboo, rattan, iron, jute, coconut fiber, wheels. Photo: Vahe D'Ala
Gaffney's cousin lives in the house just in front. To give a bit of perspective, this photo was likely taken just feet in front of the waist-high wall that runs between the two houses's yards.
The building's shape and materials are the sort you find in a modernist residence in the UK, but it's the unfussy Japanese interior that reveals a design tailored to this multicultural family.
Though the lane on which the Japanese House sits is off the main street, a rock wall affords the small yard quite a bit of privacy. It also nicely frames the second floor of the house from street level. Have a look at the traditional architecture nearby in the reflection in the corner window.
A beloved Japanese tradition is to char exterior cladding to make it fire resistant. Here, the effect on the front door is likely more aesthetic than preventative—though you can never be too careful.
Helsinki architect Ville Hara and designer Linda Bergroth collaborated on a prefab shed-meets-sleeping cabin, which can be assembled with little else than a screwdriver. Bergroth, inspired by nomadic yurt dwellers, wanted an indoor/outdoor experience for her property in Finland.