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A literature review of the evolution of British prefabricated low-rise housing

O’Neill, Daniel; O'Neill, Daniel; Organ, Samantha


Daniel O’Neill

Daniel O'Neill

Samantha Organ
Senior Lecturer in Building Surveying


© 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 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 the 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.


O’Neill, D., O'Neill, D., & Organ, S. (2016). A literature review of the evolution of British prefabricated low-rise housing. Structural Survey, 34(2), 191-214.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Mar 14, 2016
Publication Date May 9, 2016
Journal Structural Survey
Print ISSN 0263-080X
Electronic ISSN 1758-6844
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 2
Pages 191-214
Keywords prefabricated, housing, history, low-rise, chronology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Has been downloaded 343 times as of 30th November 2016. This is the accepted version of an article published in Structural Survey. The final published version is available at


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