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Germany's Prefab Mansions are Sleek, Sturdy, and Expensive

Prefab construction—that is, assembling a structure from parts pre-made elsewhere—is at the center of countless recent attempts at affordable, eco-friendly, and stylish housing. And as the Wall Street Journal highlights in a new article, pre-fab is also how plenty of Europeans are building their million-dollar "modern mansions." One German prefab manufacturer Huf Haus, for example, erected its first prefab house in 1972 and now builds 150 such houses a year. People typically come to a firm like Huf Haus with land already secured. They then work with the company to pick out everything from a floor plan and paint colors, down to cabinetry finishes and locations of wall outlets—all decisions that must be made well before trucks pull up to the site and assemble the house in the span of a few days.

As seen in Huf Haus's promo photos below, the homes come in a variety of styles, but all feature steel-reinforced beams, floor-to-ceiling windows, and airy interiors. Characteristic large overhangs and a central system for controlling lighting and shades help achieve energy efficiency. The houses, which run at a steep $500- to $600-per-square-foot, are currently most popular in Germany, Switzerland, and the U.K.

About five years ago, Huf Haus also decided to target the U.S. Its sales office in Ohio is now licensed to sell and distribute Huf houses across the country. Curious how a house manufactured in Germany can be erected stateside? Over on this blog, a couple who claims to have the first Huf Haus in the U.S. documents their experience, from site preparation to the final hand-over of the home.

· Million-Dollar Homes Built on a Factory Floor [WSJ]
· Danish Luxury Trashcan Maker Just Designed a Sexy Prefab [Curbed National]
· Check Out Amsterdam's Brilliant Mobile Homes For Millennials [Curbed National]
· All pre-fab housing coverage [Curbed National]