The most sought-after solution for reducing construction costs, regardless of the material in use, is prefabrication. It removes a lot of potential and actual nuisances from the construction process like increased transportation costs, susceptibility to the elements and, possibly the key factor, time. Prefabrication is always the preferred method when raising structural steel warehouses, commercial or industrial buildings of anytime, but it has rarely been applied in the residential housing construction industry. In fact, as far as the United States and Canada are concerned, only around two percent of homes are prefabricated.
Japan, however, is setting the tone for a change in the trend. Of around one million homes made in Japan last year, around 150,000 were made almost entirely out of prefabricated segments which were later simply put together on the site. A similar trend can be observed in Europe as around 10% of new homes in Germany are prefabricated, while the Netherlands beat everyone, hands down, with staggering 20%. As increased use of prefabrication drives the costs further down, it can be expected to see more and more steel components comprising the homes of the future, making them greener, and long-lasting.