Panelization versus Prefabrication

Process—————3 September 2014

Prefabricated buildings have been in and out of fashion since World War II. Today, we are still riding a prefab high, even though, in a residential context, prefab can often be more expensive than promised. Many “prefabricated” houses are still custom designed units, assembled in a factory-controlled environment, and completed on site. The expenses of site, foundations and utilities are the same as a site-built house. Often, labor ends up being the same or greater as contractors who are familiar with site-built techniques struggle to learn a new system.

Diverging from the comprehensive prefab approach, our studio recently completed a house with a hybrid of prefab and site-built strategies. The client asked us to design a home bound by existing foundations. We decided to use prefabricated building framing components and a panelization system. The building walls and floors are designed in panel modules, fabricated in a factory, stacked on a flat-bed truck, and then tilted and fastened together on site.

The project is located in a dense neighborhood and the house perimeter already maximized the allowable lot occupancy. So, the question became how height, floor quantities, bay windows, decks, and other appendages could transform and expand the livable area of the home. We contoured a new home to the limit of the allowable building envelope. Panelization allowed us to keep costs down, speed construction, and maximize the value of the home. 

More News

Studio 27 Celebrates Philip’s Academy Charter School of Paterson, NJ Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

9 July 2024

Studio 27 is thrilled to announce we’ve reached the finish line on the transformation of a vacant manufacturing site into a progressive new K-8 campus. On June 5, 2024, Philip’s Academy Charter

Keep Reading

Breathing New Life into History: Renovation Solutions for Historic Buildings

3 June 2024

Preserving historic buildings offers architects and designers a rich tapestry of challenges and opportunities that set it apart from other project typologies. Historic preservation holds profound

Keep Reading

AI: A Tool in the Future of Design

16 May 2024

Architecture must keep up with the latest technological advances as an industry to create better, more efficient designs. The recent development of artificial intelligence (AI) can be

Keep Reading

Beyond Aesthetics: The Functional Role of Color in Architecture

10 May 2024

The use of color in architecture is not only about aesthetics but also function. The right choice and coordination of colors can significantly enhance a building's appeal and beauty, making it more

Keep Reading

Studio 27 celebrates source water protection at nearly completed Beaverdam Reservoir Park

12 April 2024

This innovative park is designed to celebrate source water protection. The buildings and landscape work together to highlight the flow of rainwater into the reservoir. The Goose Creek

Keep Reading