prefabrication, in architectural construction, a technique whereby large units of a building are produced in factories to be assembled, ready-made, on the building site. The technique permits the speedy erection of very large structures. It has been applied to urban housing for more than a century. Major architects, including Walter Gropius, Konrad Wachsmann, and Buckminster Fuller, have been involved significantly in the development of prefabrication. In the 21st cent., it has been used in the building of urban highrises, with prefabricated concrete modules assembled to create structures more than 50 stories high.
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