Historically, prefabricated houses were thought to be lacking in design value. Recently, a study shows that architects are much more enthusiastic about the application of prefab elements.
Prefab houses are typically manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled. They have not been particularly marketable, when compared to standard manufactured housing or existing housing stock.
The European architectural barometer shows that 86% of Dutch architects say they can create good looking architectural design by using prefab. Italian architects (75%), French (67%) and British (53%) confirm this notion.
Only the German architects (29%) do not agree. On the contrary, even 47% of the German architects (strongly) disagree—an interesting statistic considering the fact that the inventor of the prefabricated house, Werner Sell, was German. After World War II until 1948 his company built over 5000 prefabricated houses in Germany for members of the occupying force of the United States of America.
Nonetheless, 61% of the German architects expect an increase in application of prefab elements due to a shrinking labour market. Also French (63%) and Dutch (53%) architects expect an increase for the same reasons.