Are prefab homes the future of housing? [Podcast]

Today we are tackling a much-debated issue in the building industry: prefabrication and what seems to be its renewed success.

SPEAKERS:

  • Elin Sondergard, Strategic Project Leader at Saint-Gobain.
  • Gilles Retsin, London based architect and designer investigating new architectural models that engage with the potential of increased computational power.

THE PITCH

Prefabrication is a method which consists of building houses off-site, in a factory, as opposed to on-site, which is the traditionnal way of doing it, with workers going to a construction site everyday from the very beginning till the end of the project.

An example of this trend is the current project deployed in London borough of Croydon in the UK. If you go to 101 George Street in, you’ll see an impressive building made with steel and glass: the world’s tallest towers are being built using modular manufacturing: The two towers will be 38 and 44 storeys high and are expected to contain 546 flats. It’s quite of a performance.

Factory-built housing may have had negative associations with mass market, uninspiring and low quality constructions for decades. But this is changing. With new technologies and materials, off-site construction is promising to offer not only affordable houses but also sustainable and aethetically challenging homes. It defenitely has advantages over traditional construction. So, is it the future of housing?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Discover all episodes of The Hidden Power of Materials, Saint-Gobain's podcast series