Back in 1837, when London-based carpenter Henry Manning constructed a house that was built in components and then shipped and assembled by British emigrants, Australia had become home to what may have been the first advertised dwelling to be built using prefabricated construction.

By 1853, several hundred portable homes per year were arriving from Liverpool, Boston and Singapore. Australia appears to have been a leader in the practice of on-site assembly using shipped modules – albeit with these modules largely coming from overseas. Fast forward to today, however, and refrains that Australia is…