Gallery: GREEN GUIDE TO PREFAB: The History of the Mobile Home and Its ...


Last month we kicked off our Green Guide to Prefab series with an article exploring the history of prefabricated housing. Now we’re back with another article in this series to take a look at mobile homes and their influence on the development of prefabricated housing.  Although the words ‘mobile home’ today often conjure up images of sprawling trailer parks outside cities, these compact homes-on-wheels were, in fact, part of a design revolution that gave way to a low-cost, portable option for single-family home ownership. Read on for the second installment of our Green Guide to Prefab, where former Lindal Cedar Homes CEO, and green design consultant Michael Harris schools us on the history of the mobile home and how it helped shape modern prefabricated housing.

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  1. frenks August 21, 2012 at 3:57 am

    I very much like the idea of these prefabricated homes. One of my nephew who lives in Europe has one of this mobile home and I can say it is amazing. It’s portable indeed.

  2. wilsongrant August 13, 2012 at 11:18 am

    That’s a nice analogy. Prefab homes are preferred by lots of people in today’s generation. One of the reasons is it does cost lower than the off-site built homes.

    Wilson Grant

  3. Bria Reus August 13, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I think there are disadvantages of living in a mobile home. One of these is that you can’t establish deep relationships with neighbors since you don’t stay in a particular place for too long.

  4. crystala February 19, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Being a blogger about mobile home living and remodeling, I thought I knew a lot about them. There is a very interesting history about the people who designed the original (non RV) concept. Great article!

  5. true creativity January 29, 2012 at 3:58 am

    This information is important for conservation of the eco-system (through green, prefab housing.
    World leaders should be advised to read this and leave their comments. How many world leaders read INHABITAT?
    Those who read it should be given prizes

  6. jimbruno January 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    i so wish you might have included captions as to who is responsible for each of the homes!

  7. Molly Cotter January 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Over 10% of new homes in 1970! I would have never imagined!

  8. Jasmin Malik Chua January 26, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Oh prefab, I love you so!

  9. Rebecca Paul January 26, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I had no idea the mobile home had such an interesting history. Thanks for the lesson Michael, I learned a lot from this post!

  10. Dan Mendes January 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Although I hate mobile homes, it’s crazy that they lead to the development of the type of house I would love to live in today

  11. Jessica Dailey January 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I completely agree with Diane — so interesting that the mobile home, something that isn’t thought of as a modern, fancy home, is the predecessor to the sleek prefabs we know today.

  12. Yuka Yoneda January 26, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    I had no idea there was a connection but it makes a lot of sense.

  13. Lori Zimmer January 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    the original prefab! totally transcends the mobile home stereotype

  14. Diane Pham January 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    very insightful article. most people don’t make the connect between tradtional mobile homes and the new, sparkling modern prefab homes we love today.

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