Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.


Access Type

Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This paper interrogates the potential for the building industry to apply online retail systems to the development of housing in the future. In so doing, the thesis highlights the history of prefabrication in the discipline of architecture, the relevant case studies for prefabrication, and then demonstrates the development of a system for prefabricated housing in the future, featuring online access. The thesis suggests lessons that could be learned from the past to apply to this model, and projects new futures for online prefabricated architecture. In doing so this online retail housing will create easy accessibility of homes that are available in the market in a short period of time, and also ready to be delivered to the purchaser door step.

These homes will come in a kit or in parts, and with little experience, the kit should be put together in as little as days to form a house. The prefab kit will come in a variety of shapes, and sizes with different styles that will create options for purchasers who will prefer a reliable and less costly prefabricated building compared to traditional stick built homes.


First Advisor

Stephen Schreiber

Second Advisor

Ann Marshall