The Debate Over Prefab

Prefab is less wasteful, green and affordable? Not according to Chad Ludeman, who has taken the pulse of the prefab field and found it wanting.
September 23, 2008, 11am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"He disputes most of the claims made by those promoting modern prefab...:

1. Prefab is more Affordable
2. Prefab produces less Waste
3. Prefab takes less Time
4. Prefab is more "Green"

He rips into each of these and makes some very good points. However Chad has a real advantage in his timing; prefab costs are fixed, with high capital costs and relatively constant labour costs. Four years ago a carpenter, if you could find one, earned $70K a year; they don't now. A conventional builder needs little more than a pickup truck and a nail gun to get into business, so in hard times the prefab companies cannot compete. In the last housing recession just about every prefab company in the States and Canada went bankrupt because of this, and it is likely to happen again."

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Published on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 in Treehugger
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