It’s easy to get googly-eyed at the sight of shiny photographs and colorful renderings of all the prefab housing going up these days. But what makes prefab such an amazing green feat is the science, production, and systems behind the building process. Princeton Architectural Press’ newly-released Prefab Prototypes: Site-Specific Design for Offsite Construction is a real gem, combining stunning photography and an impressive project list with an in-depth yet widely-approachable explanation of 6 systems behind the prefab process: panelized 2×4’s, CNC timber framing, concrete systems, steel framing, sandwich panels, and modular systems.

The coolest section, however, is the book’s last, entitled “Further Experiments,” with ventures off the mainstream to highlight some truly avant-garde prefab projects that could very well be the future of this growing architectural trend. The hefty hardcover comes to us from Mark and Peter Anderson, who have quite the resume of prefab experience.

The book highlights projects we know and love, as well as some stunners we have yet to explore. You’ll also find an array of drawings, sketches, diagrams, and plans that are both informative and visually stunning. To sum up, Prefab Prototypes would make a great coffee-table book for your green design-savvy friend, as well as a reference book for the seasoned architect.

+ Prefab Prototypes – $37 from Amazon