It is important to find the ideal restaurant when we go out for family meals. Somewhere where we are offered a varied menu to choose from, with affordable prices and no surprises on the bill, and where we are served fairly quickly. Something similar happens in the world of construction. The desire of families to have a house to their needs, with affordable prices and readily available has led to the expansion of a new construction concept: prefabricated and modular houses.
What does this construction model consist of?
On the one hand, a prefabricated house is a complete house that is made up of different sections assembled in factories. On the other hand, a modular house is a house that is built (both structure and enclosures) in modules, in a factory or workshop. These modules are transported with a crane to the place where the house is to be located for its final assembly. Thus, the future of the construction goes from being in the same location of the house to the factories and workshops.
The customized and standard model
Like a video game, individuals can mentally design their home, ask for a budget and arrange for the construction to be carried out. However, companies often offer a catalog of ready-made models to the consumer, which can reduce the duration of the work to just six months: record time in the construction world
Customers have two options: design the house of their dreams or let the builder do it himself. In the first case, the costs are higher ( but still well below the classic housing model), but the individual has total freedom of choice. In the second, although the house is not fully customized, both the cost and the average construction time are lower.
An additional advantage of this construction model is that it is an ESG (Environmental, social and corporate governance) investment. The process of building a prefabricated house is much less polluting and more sustainable. The reason for this is that prefabricated parts are made under industrial procedures where resources (water, materials, etc.) are much more efficient and are used to the maximum in the manufacturing workshops.
From the worker’s point of view, prefabricated houses represent a clear improvement in their working safety conditions. There are no more dangerous maneuvers in unfavorable weather conditions, the cause of countless accidents at work in this sector.
A continuously growing market
The “boom” in prefabricated housing took place five years ago. In 2015, the value of exports of prefabricated houses in Spain rose from 139 to 2,861 million euros, an increase of more than 2,000 %. Since then, this figure has grown steadily to stand at around 3,375 million euros in 2019.
A major increase in this figure is expected in the coming years. The coronavirus, as in all sectors, has been a turning point in the world of construction. However, the impact would be positive in the case of prefabricated homes, since society has become more aware of the importance of having large spaces in which to live together in a pleasant way.
The possibility of buying prefabricated houses at affordable prices appears in this context. While the price of a classic house ranges between 70,000 and 120,000 euros, prefabricated houses of the same size can be found on the market for prices of less than 50,000 euros. This means a more democratic access to houses.
It seems definite that prefabricated houses are here to stay. There are multiple agents that in one way or another support this new way of building. From governmental organizations to companies like Amazon and Ikea. For their part, builders have seen a market niche, and 40% of the builders participating in a survey said they are investing in facilities where they can build modules. The fact is that the construction of these homes is endorsed by their sustainability, their short duration, the job security offered to the workers… And, above all, because it offers customers the possibility of having their own home à la carte.