Two days ago I was talking to Jeffrey Char and Kohei Nishiyama about the state of prefabrication in Japan. We talked through two aspects of prefab lodging - capsule hotels and prefab housing. Some of the things I learned:
Capsule hotels were found to be the best ROI for accommodation, given Japanese real estate prices
It did take sophisticated hacks around the lodging legislation, for example including curtains to get around the provision of needing an air conditioning unit per room, which is defined by a door
But capsule hotels had to rebrand to deter from its low-end reputation, and so brands like 9 hours purposely spent money on branding and set up around high-end locations
Prefab housing, on the other hand, represents about 15% in new house stock and the same percentage for existing stock. Some more information here: http://www.prefabmarket.com/japan-prefab-conventional-construction/
They represent much better houses, and the outside structure can be completed in one day. It takes another month before they are completed.
Prefab houses are generally earthquake “proof”, but are more expensive than 2x4 houses
In summary, pre fabricated lodging seems to offer superior benefits over traditional lodging. It does away with existing building processes, and the costs associated with it, to present a cheaper product. Because the product was built for the 21st century, the housing product is better suited for modern use cases.
Other than emotional attachment to existing lodging options or a lack of knowledge of pre fabricated lodging, it seems as if pre fabricated lodging should be a cornerstone of 21st century living.