System 3 house at Home Delivery
Just as the industry goes into the tank, there has been a veritable outpouring of words about modern prefab. Recently we read Architectural Record on Green Prefab; now we have Sarah Williams Goldhagen with a long article in the New Republic. The last paragraph nails the problems and the opportunities:
For quality affordable mass-produced housing to be built, we need to create different conditions for a mass market. A new legislative structure must clear away the obstacles presented by non-standard, municipally controlled building codes and create enforceable national standards for prefab-friendly, environmentally responsible manufacturing and construction practices.
Incentives must be offered so that the entrenched and intransigent construction industry, which has made plenty of money on its poorly conceived, shoddily built, environmentally toxic houses, will re-configure itself. If the necessary legislation were passed and new market incentives put in place, and the designers and manufacturers of prefabricated homes made all the real innovations in quality and reduction of price that the automobile industry has made since the Model T, who would walk away from a better designed and better built home for less money? Given the current housing crisis, and the new administration's commitment to environmental responsibility and progressive social policies, it seems reasonable if not exactly realistic to hope that some of tomorrow's homebuyers might be offered the opportunity to purchase products that are worth their price.
More reading on Modern Prefab:
Architectural Record on Green Prefab
Another Opinion: Prefab is Not the Answer to Affordable, Modern and Green Homes
Home Delivery: Modern Prefab Lives Fast, Dies Young, Leaves Good Looking Corpse