Prefabs designed for extreme locations

Story highlights

  • Prefab housing is designed by computer and made in modules for ease of construction
  • Buildings can be assembled in a matter of days or hours, which makes it ideal for isolated sites
  • Some have been designed to withstand extreme cold, tsunamis, and earthquakes

This article was originally published by The Spaces, a digital publication exploring new ways to live and work.

(CNN)Prefab housing -- designed by computer and made in modules -- is inherently suited to extreme climates and topography.

It can be assembled in a matter of days, sometimes hours, which makes it ideal for isolated sites. And the need for a frame to survive a trip on a flatbed means that extra rigor generally goes into engineering and manufacturing.
    A little dressing up and you have a highly durable dwelling.
    As prefab comes of age, the offerings are becoming ever more diverse. On one end of the spectrum, Zaha Hadid and Ron Arad recently designed collectable pavilions for garden tea parties for Revolution Precrafted Properties. At the same time, governments are using modular units for Antarctic research stations.
    There's something for everyone, it seems.
    Storm-resistant homes have been designed for the US Atlantic coastline in response to Hurricane Sandy and there are even dwellings conceived to withstand tsunamis and earthquakes. Other designs pay heed to snow loads or polar chill. Once one of these tough-as-nails structures arrives on-site, all it needs is anchoring.
    Here are six head-turners designed to battle the elements.