What are Prefab Buildings?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Prefab buildings, which are also known as "prefabricated buildings" are structures that are built completely or almost completely off site. This means that very minimal construction will have to take place on the site where the building will stand. In fact, it is common that the only construction on the building site will involve laying a small foundation, such as a concrete slab, on which the building will stand.

Most prefab homes are delivered in many large pieces.
Most prefab homes are delivered in many large pieces.

You might say that the original prefab building is one of the oldest housing structures known to humans: the tent. A tent is made up of a few simple parts that can be assembled in a short amount of time in order to create a temporary or semi-permanent living space. We have gone a long way since the invention of the tent.

In fact, it is becoming more and more common for people to live and work in prefab buildings. One of the most common kinds of prefab buildings is the trailer. Trailers are used as permanent residences or as temporary living or working spaces for people like actors, construction professionals, and archaeologists who have to spend a great deal of time in an otherwise uninhabited space in order to do their work. Trailers are the quintessential prefab buildings because they can be purchased in complete form and moved from place to place as needed. All that is required is that they have a solid place to rest upon and, if necessary, connections to utilities such as electricity and water.

It is also possible to purchase a prefab home that is quite a bit larger than a trailer. Most prefab homes are actually delivered in numerous large pieces. However, each piece is complete. Walls, for example, generally come with windows already installed. Some prefab homes are as tallas two and three stories high.

One of the reasons that some people choose to live in prefab homes is that they can design the layout of the home. It then takes very little time to have their home built. Furthermore, prefab homes are often less expensive that buildings that are built in a more traditional, brick-by-brick manner.

Prefab buildings have become especially useful in disaster areas. After a devastating flood, hurricane, fire, or other such disaster, prefab buildings can be assembled quite quickly in order to give survivors a place to live and regroup. They can also provide work space for disaster relief workers.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?