In panelized construction, only the exterior shell of the house is pre-built/produced in the factory (interior finishes are added later, in some cases external cladding can also be done in the factory), and that shell is broken down into a series of flat panels and other elements dimensioned so that they can be shipped on a standard truck, then installed on a built foundation. Depending on manufacturers offer or clients requirements the panels may be nothing more than a precisely produced frame with sheathing or finished with insulation, interior sheathing (e.g. drywall), installed electric conduits, windows and doors.
This method mostly provides the optimal level of prefabrication for flexibility during project execution and transportation costs.
There are several technologies in the panelized building system, so below we review some of them.
Wooden panels are the most common, time tested and familiar panelized building system. It is an evolution of conventional stick frame houses to get higher quality in prefabrication. The commonality of this system is one of its main advantages – experienced producers who are able to produce a quality product and skilled specialists for on-site installation are available. Also remodelling of such a house in the future is pretty straight forward for most contractors.
However there still are significant differences in the solutions, materials used in the panels and the quality of production so choosing the right company is key.
Find out how ZTC produces panels that let humidity “breathe” through the structure
Because stick frame building is very common, there are many start-up wooden panel production companies trying out their luck that come and go, so caution regarding quality standards and accountability in the long term is appropriate.