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What is prefabrication house?
- Aug 03, 2018 -

Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure in a factory or other manufacturing site and transporting complete assemblies or sub-assemblies to the construction site where the structure is to be located. The term is used to distinguish this process from the more conventional construction practice of transporting the basic materials to the construction site where all assembly is carried out.

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An example from house-building illustrates the process of prefabrication. The conventional method of building a house is to transport bricks, timber, cement, sand, steel and construction aggregate, etc. to the site, and to construct the house on site from these materials. In prefabricated construction, only the foundations are constructed in this way, while sections of walls, floors and roof are prefabricated (assembled) in a factory (possibly with window and door frames included), transported to the site, lifted into place by a crane and bolted together.

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Prefabrication has been used since ancient times. For example, it is claimed that the world's oldest known engineered roadway, the Sweet Track constructed in England around 3800 BC, employed prefabricated timber sections brought to the site rather than assembled on-site.


Sinhalese kings of ancient Sri Lanka have used prefabricated buildings technology to erect giant structures, which dates back as far as 2000 years, where some sections were prepared separately and then fitted together, especially in the Kingdom of Anuradhapura and Kingdom of Polonnaruwa.


The method was widely used in the construction of prefabricated housing in the 20th century, such as in the United Kingdom as temporary housing for thousands of urban families "bombed out" during World War II. Assembling sections in factories saved time on-site and the lightness of the panels reduced the cost of foundations and assembly on site. Coloured concrete grey and with flat roofs, prefab houses were uninsulated and cold and living in a prefab acquired a certain stigma, but some London prefabs were occupied for much longer than the projected 10 years.

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The most widely used form of prefabrication in building and civil engineering is the use of prefabricated concrete and prefabricated steel sections in structures where a particular part or form is repeated many times. It can be difficult to construct the formwork required to mould concrete components on site, and delivering wet concrete to the site before it starts to set requires precise time management. Pouring concrete sections in a factory brings the advantages of being able to re-use moulds and the concrete can be mixed on the spot without having to be transported to and pumped wet on a congested construction site. Prefabricating steel sections reduces on-site cutting and welding costs as well as the associated hazards.


Prefabrication techniques are used in the construction of apartment blocks, and housing developments with repeated housing units. The quality of prefabricated housing units had increased to the point that they may not be distinguishable from traditionally built units to those that live in them. The technique is also used in office blocks, warehouses and factory buildings. Prefabricated steel and glass sections are widely used for the exterior of large buildings.