Factories manufacture prefab buildings before shipping them to construction sites, where crews assemble the structure. There are different kinds of prefab materials, and they’re all faster than traditional building for a few reasons. They don’t require the large number of specialist tradesmen working in a strict sequence that conventional construction does, which often lags the whole process when one individual is delayed. The manufacturer can make the structure at the same time its foundation is laid. Furthermore, in-factory construction is quicker because of assembly-line and machine-assisted technology.
Homes, apartments, and skyscrapers assembled in less than a month will become less surprising as developers look to prefab for more and more projects. For now, here are ten prefab buildings whose build-times will surprise you.
10. Ibaraki Kindergarten, Japan
The kindergarten originally had traditional stick-built structures, which builders replaced with steel modular containers in 2015. The renovation was completed in January 2016 and included 34 modules. Materials were carefully selected to surpass health and safety codes, with total costs coming to $1.5 million USD.
Assembled in 30 days.
9. Little Hero Apartments, Australia
Little Hero was Melbourne’s first unitized building project. In the heart of the Central Business District, it features residential and commercial units. Designed by architect Nonda Katsalidis, apartments sold for $350,000 – $380,000 AUD. The project cost $27.4 million AUD.
Construction took 30 days.
8. Diamond Harbour House, New Zealand
As a 1,130 square-foot family home made of three containers, this project is much smaller than others on the list. It came with wiring, plumbing, and kitchen & bathroom features installed. Total costs came to just $221,800 USD, plus $1,500 for shipping per container.
Built in 14 days.
7. Crowne Plaza Extension, Singapore
In March 2016, the Crowne Plaza Hotel built an extension using 252 containers manufactured in Beijing. The units are typhoon and 9.0 magnitude earthquake resistant, and all building materials are BCA Green Mark Certified. The project cost $12.8 Million USD.
Assembled in 26 days.
6. The Stack Apartments, USA
Builders completed New York’s first building made entirely from modular units in 2014. The Stack’s 22 rental apartments started at $1,755 for a studio, to $3,990 for a three bedroom apartment. Construction costs were $7 million.
Assembled in 19 days.
5. Mini Sky City, China
Most haven’t heard of Changsha, a city of about seven-and-a-half-million people in south-central China. However, it’s become the site of Broad Sustainable Building’s (BSB) most ambitious prefab buildings projects, including the Mini Sky City. The 57-story skyscraper was built with more than 2,700 modules.
Built in 19 days.
4. T30 Hotel, China
Another BSB project in Changsha, the 30-story T30 Hotel is reportedly much more energy efficient than similar projects and is magnitude 9.0 earthquake resistant. 200 workers erected the structure in record speed.
Assembled in 15 days.
3. Kings Park Accommodations, Australia
Tapping into Queensland’s $8.8 billion tourism economy, Kings Park Accommodations used 90% recycled modular components to construct nine large apartment units. The 36 modules, manufactured in Shanghai, came to US$461 per square meter.
Assembled in 7 days.
2. Gomos Modular Home, Portugal
Designed by Portuguese architect Samuel Gonzales, the Gomos System house uses modules much different from other prefab buildings on this list. The trapezoidal units, prefabricated off-site, are made of reinforced concrete and can be linked together horizontally.
Built in 3 days.
1. One9 Apartments, Australia
Hickory Group’s One9 project is the second Melbourne building on this list. The residential apartment consists of 36 prefabricated modules that came complete from the factory with facades, timber floors, carpets and balconies. It has a 6-star energy rating.