Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Accepted version, previously uploaded to UWE Bristol Research Repository:


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore academic papers and reports and present a chronology of the evolution of British low-rise prefabricated housing. The paper provides chronological information for construction and surveying researchers undertaking research in associated areas.

Design/methodology/approach – This is a qualitative literature review, providing an exploration and analysis of academic papers and reports on low-rise prefabricated housing.

Findings – A substantial literature was discovered. However, there are gaps in the available literature. The history of British construction technology is a rich research area but is under-researched. Prefabricated housing has a long history dating back to the eleventh century. Stigmatised from the failures of housing in the twentieth century, it is being increasingly used again in the twenty-first century when considering mass housing supply.

Research limitations/implications – This paper provides researchers with an overview of the history of low-rise prefabricated housing in Britain. It is not a comprehensive in-depth study; such would require numerous larger individual studies.

Originality/value – From reviewing literature it was evident that there was a broad literature, but there was no single journal publication exploring the evolution of British low-rise prefabricated housing. The research provides an overview, exploration and analysis of the literature while providing a chronology. The evolution of prefabricated housing is chronologically presented. Areas for further research are also recommended.