Advantages over conventional construction
Prefabricated buildings solve the major problem in conventional construction. Easy woodworking and a connection of elements allow for building in short and guaranteed times – unattainable for conventional construction.
Strict quality control
The conventional construction of houses is carried out mostly by unskilled workers, often without the supervision of a designer. On the other hand, prefabricated houses are manufactured in a controlled and automated factory, with conditions providing the highest and most consistent quality of production and are assembled in the presence of the designer of the project.
The assumption that conventional buildings are eternal and maintenance free is not true. The repair work also is not easy – in practice, to repair a reinforced concrete building, it has to be split in two.
More resistant to earthquakes
Conventional buildings are more vulnerable to earthquake because of their higher weight. In an emergency, their repairs are extremely complicated. On the other hand, the buildings made of wood and metal are quite light and are almost unaffected by an earthquake. In the event of an accident, the repair is easy, simply by replacing the damaged parts (just like replacing parts in cars).
There is no conclusive evidence that they have a shorter life
There is no clear evidence that reinforced concrete structures last longer than wooden ones. There are wooden structures which are 300-400 years old, that have been preserved up to now (obviously with the necessary maintenance). The oldest reinforced concrete structures are 80-100 years old.
Prefabricated houses are much better isolated than conventional ones. Standard insulation in conventional houses are usually 10cm, while in the prefabricated, it starts from 20cm and can reach to up to 40cm. The difference is enormous. Virtually the entire thickness of the wall is filled with insulation.
Prefabricated and conventional houses can be built as passive houses. Under “passive house” we mean buildings that require very little energy and therefore do not need active heating systems. They can only be heated by the use of internal heat sources. The advantage of prefabricated houses comes from the fact that they have very good insulation and therefore the consumption of heating energy is up to 90% less then conventional buildings. Passive houses are buildings that provide comfort both in summer and in winter.
In modern construction, production costs and recycling costs are assessed. Timber has the lowest recycling costs – the material is natural and is discarded in nature, and is not a pollutant. After it, the steel is placed, and finally it is the concrete (or the reinforced concrete), where the costs are greatest. Soon, a time will come when the old structures have to be demolished and recycled. In the case of reinforced concrete, this process is extremely labor intensive, energy intensive and expensive. In wood constructions, they simply have to be dismantled and the wood can be used for other purposes.