Prefab high-rises may soon dominate city skylines

SLI prefab architecture image

Prefab housing isn’t what it used to be. While we typically think of cheap, low-quality mobile homes when think of prefabricated construction, the world’s top architects and engineers are looking to prefab housing as way to create sustainable urban environments. Since prefab housing is affordable, energy efficient, and incredibly quick-to-build, creative designers are hoping to bring this concept to skyscrapers.

Next week in Seattle, Sustainable Living Innovations, a group made up of architectural design, construction, and engineering consultants, will unveil what they believe could be the foundation for a new type of prefab high-rise building.

Arlan Collins, principal at CollinsWoerman, says that a wood-frame apartment building with parking costs $130,000 a unit. This new prefab concept would cost the same, but it could be built in half the time and boast higher-quality components such as a steel-frame, concrete floor slabs, and ample natural lighting. To top it off, a prefab SLI-designed building would require fewer materials than a standard building, which would help it achieve the coveted LEED Silver certification.

“From the time we’re ready to lift the building, it will only take us 90 days to finish,” says Collins. “If you’re an observer, this building will go from not being there at all to being done and having someone living in it in four months.”

At this point there are discussions to bring this concept to various building projects in the U.S. up to a height of six-stories. But SLI is confident that the design will be suitable for even taller structures in the future.

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Written by David Lux

David is a blogger, marketer, and spends copious hours devouring content concerning autos, tech, and then more autos. You can follow him on Twitter: @autocontent

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