The Birth of Industrialized Modular Building

So what are the British to do? They’re sending thousands of colonists all over the world to establish communities in what is modern day India, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and North America. And they need these communities up and running as quickly as possible. The first prefabricated housing is invented.

The earliest reported case of prefabrication – components constructed in England and shipped to its final destination – was in 1624, when homes were sent to the village of Cape Anne in what is now Massachusetts. Throughout the 1700s and 1800s, prefabricated buildings, from hospitals to cottages, were delivered all over the world.

It’s certainly not a new concept, but we expect that those early manufacturers would be in awe of the techniques used in modern prefabrication, from the 3D modeling available with BIM technology to the use of cranes for the installation of units stacking on top of each other. It took us thousands of years to get where we are today. How far will prefabrication advance in the next decade?