Sustainable architecture through prefabricated homes

By 26 August, 2022 No Comments

In a constantly changing modern world, it is important for architecture or design to be actively involved in sustainability in order to build liveable spaces that also respect the environment.

Sustainable architecture

Illustration Photo by Pixasquare on Unsplash

Nature provides us with our raw materials and it is only by respecting this fact that we can look to the future of architecture from our current reality.

At The Decorative Surfaces, we speak about how the construction of a prefabricated home measures up to contemporary requirements through materials as a palpable essence, and time as an intangible element.

Construction time as a differentiating value in prefabricated homes

Time is that intangible element through which we organise our lives. When it comes to construction, time plays a part in all the processes involved. Efforts at optimising these processes present a huge challenge for the architecture and design sector in adapting to the new needs of clients.

Prefabricated homes have emerged as a solution to those who value speed. These are spaces created with industrialised elements. As such, they are places created individually that respect the environment, creating a process of rapid and sustainable construction.

In this regard, we highlight studios like UBIKO or NIU HOUSES, who encourage participation in building your own home through technological innovation. In this way, the architecture can be developed in a unique manner and in a short time.


Ubiko, created by Virage Arquitectura, enables an architectural project to be completed in record time. From the design to the furnishings, the industrialised-home company adapts to the needs and lifestyle of its clients. Thus, it manages to reduce each of the processes involved in the traditional construction of a home.

Its process, structured in concrete blocks, makes it possible to rapidly build a structure with infinite possibilities for creating a home. Meanwhile, the materials – always sustainable – accompany the surfaces and elements of each of the homes built.

In its aim to create a more human architecture, Ubiko manages to incorporate trends in its projects, while subscribing to what it means to be sustainable.

Basically, this philosophy includes the idea that another way of building is possible. From this concept the idea arose for creation of the Ubiko Green project in 2020, which looks to the future, considering that the goal is to ensure respect for the environment.

“We are guided by a holistic concept, understanding that each of our activities and decisions has an environmental footprint, and as such, our research and conclusions will affect all phases, from design work in the studio, to demolition at the end of the useful lives of our buildings. With Ubiko Green, we reinvent ourselves. Ubiko Green is not a project, it is our commitment.”

Sustainable architecture

Illustration Photo by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash

In the case of Niu Houses, by Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, the creative process is developed by the studio and provided to the client through a home presented as a block. As such, this approach presents a style that is minimalist and exclusive.

Niu Houses offers a catalogue of various structures to meet different needs. This is achieved through prefabricated concrete blocks that connect with their environment in a magical way. These are homes that present as a disruptive space at the limits of architecture.

Consequently, the revolution of architectural creation advances towards optimisation and simplification of all the processes involved, resulting in increased efficiency in manufacturing and building the project, avoiding waste.

Energy efficiency as an environmental link in prefabricated homes

Each project undertaken by both firms is studied and analysed in relation to the surrounding environment. As a result, minimal consumption can be achieved, combining passive architecture with insulation systems and shared elements. This promotes energy savings and technical insulation, while obeying the environmental structure.

However, this commitment to the environment is not confined to the structure. It also includes materials that ensure minimal environmental impact. Accordingly, recycled and recyclable materials spell the future of architectural construction and design, offering committed, functional and beautiful solutions.

Sustainable materials for the construction of a prefabricated home

Materials have the power to make structures beautiful, without sacrificing functionality. However, in a prefabricated home, the choice of material is important to ensure energy efficiency and sustainability.

Therefore, materials such as concrete are used to establish the structure. Similarly, elements like glass are used to create enclosures and quality finishes.

The use of glass enclosures in the external structure means that prefabricated homes can be easily integrated in their environment. In this way they connect with their surroundings by stripping back walls. Furthermore, this facilitates energy supply connections and optimal use of sunlight. At the same time, this contributes to reducing consumption and improving energy efficiency of the home.

Inside, glass structures provide curtain-like separation. In this way a feeling of spaciousness is created which is striking in that it stimulates the elegant, subtle and minimalist style of a personal space.

COMPAC’S revolutionary materials

A clear example of how commitment to the environment can combine quality and perfect aesthetic finish is illustrated with one of COMPAC’s most revolutionary materials.

Sustainable architecture

Illustration Wall and flooring, Volcano Cloud™. Worktop Volcano Light™. Both in Obsidiana COMPAC.

Thus, the block manufacture of Obsidiana COMPAC is ideal for creating 3D pieces. Not only that, but it is extremely versatile in terms of producing different thicknesses. However, the real potential of this excellent material lies in its sustainable character. It is perfect for providing exclusive finishes in the design of prefabricated homes. As a result, Obsidiana COMPAC is positioned as one of the most interesting surface materials for prefabricated or industrial homes, thanks to the creation of compositional pairings with an elegant and natural aesthetic.

All this is encapsulated in the IQ Circular Science philosophy: “COMPAC’s sense of responsibilty”. This concept, developed by the company, encompasses the philosophy of respect for the environment present in every link of the COMPAC value chain. The idea is based on reducing our environmental footprint, lowering consumption of resources and avoiding waste, Obsidiana COMPAC is an excellent material for designing more sustainable spaces that respect the environment.

Exclusive-design finishes in prefabricated homes

To differentiate the interior of an industrially created home, it is important to take care in the choice of finishes. Yet sustainability should also be considered, and there are some recycled and recyclable materials with enormous aesthetic beauty.

The fact is, aside from wooden surfaces or concrete itself, nature provides elements of incredible beauty. By using these, while ensuring a process of sustainable production, a perfect finish can be attained for the surfaces of an industrial home.

Sustainable architecture

Illustration 4 Worktop, wall cladding and flooring with Obsidiana COMPAC Volcano Light.

With Obsidiana COMPAC, sustainability feeds back into the purest beauty that the environment can offer. As a result, a process of creation with 100% recycled glass is possible. COMPAC offers a wide range of colour options, available in both a polished or glacé finish. A beautiful material available in two of their collections: Volcano and Astral.

This is a choice that offers proven sustainability with the Cradle to Cradle Certification. Its shape, texture and grandeur inspire the creation of an enormously expressive appearance while at the same time fulfilling the premise of the circular economy.

Sustainable architecture

Illustration Volcano Cloud™ and Volcano Dark™ on worktops Volcano Fog™ on flooring.

The choice of each process and material in an industrial home, seeking to improve energy efficiency and respect for the environment, poses a challenge for the future of architecture, which must learn to embrace a planet that provides us with our raw materials.

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