The prefabricated house guide from Hanse Haus: compact construction knowledge online from A to Z

Housebuilding glossary

In our housebuilding glossary, we summarise the most important terms on the subject of prefabricated houses for you. We explain technical terms to you from A to Z. Expand your construction knowledge online in our prefabricated house guide and quickly find answers to your open questions about prefabricated house construction.


Additional sampling

Together with a fixture consultant, you can discuss the current status of your house planning and select all the fixtures for your house. Our consultants will provide you with valuable tips on interior design, style and home trends, and will be there for you until you can say, “My perfect home”. So that you can enjoy your new home day after day, we rely on high-quality branded products for construction and fixtures. Our building specifications describe the contractually guaranteed scope of services and construction details. If you choose products that are not included in our scope of services, you can still add them on.

Airtightness test (blower door test)

Beginning with the near turnkey completion level and depending on requirements (e.g. if a house has a mechanical ventilation system), we check the airtightness of your home according to DIN 4108 as part of Hanse Haus’s included services.

With the so-called differential pressure measurement method, we use a fan to generate a vacuum in the house. The airtightness of the house can be determined by the amount of incoming outside air.


The attic is located directly under the roof and is usually accessible only by a sliding ladder. The attic is usually used only as a storage area.

However, if it has sufficient height, space and lighting, it can also be used as a living space and an additional room. In this case, it must be accessible by a staircase.

With our planning options for the Duo 315 multi-family house, for example, we can show you how to convert the attic into a guest room or office.


Barrier-free access

On request, we can offer you individual solutions for planning and implementing barrier-free living concepts according to DIN 18040-2. Barrier-free construction creates a higher degree of comfort and, above all, allows older people and residents with disabilities to enjoy a high quality of life within their own four walls.

Base area

The base area of a building is the area that is calculated using the external dimensions of a building. This also corresponds to the actual surface area – not to be confused with the built-up area, which also includes the roof overhangs. The floor area is measured at floor level on the finished surfaces, e.g. on wood panelling, insulation or exterior plaster.

Building permit

A building permit is the approval granted by a building inspection authority to construct a building in accordance with the submitted planning documents. The building permit is a prerequisite for the delivery of your prefabricated house by Hanse Haus.

Burglary protection

Hanse Haus is one of the few prefabricated house manufacturers to produce windows and terrace doors itself. For these, burglary-resistant components according to DIN EN 1627 are used which are all rated at least Resistance Class RC1N. Since your safety is very important to us, Hanse Haus is regularly inspected by accredited certification authorities. This is why Hanse Haus is a proud bearer of the “K-EINBRUCH” seal for burglary-resistant products, which is even recommended at police consultations.



Grand Prix for Medium-Sized Enterprises:

Hanse Haus was Premier at the 2019 Grand Prix for Medium-Sized Enterprises organised by the Oskar Patzelt Foundation. Among other things, the competition evaluated the overall development of the company, the creation or securing of jobs and training positions, regional involvement and proximity to customers.


DGNB Gold and Platinum:

Beginning with the near turnkey completion level, all Hanse Haus prefabricated houses with Hanse Haus basement/floor slab receive the Gold Sustainability Certificate of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).




QDF and BDF:

The seal of the Quality Association for German Prefabricated Construction (QDF) is the most comprehensive seal of quality for German prefabricated housebuilding.

The association’s members commit to the highest technical standards and requirements for energy efficiency, environmental protection and contractual bases, which go far beyond the statutory requirements.



Clear ceiling height

The clear ceiling height is the height of a room measured from the top edge of the finished floor to the lower edge of the ceiling. In construction law, the term is used, for example, to define the minimum requirements for inhabitable rooms.

Completion level

At Hanse Haus you can choose from four levels of completion: the partially finished house, house with technical installations, near turnkey and turnkey solutions. So that you can decide which work on the house you will take on and which work Hanse Haus will do.


Learn more about the services provided by Hanse Haus for the different completion levels 


A compartment in stud wall construction is the space between the vertical studs that form the load-bearing skeleton of the house. Thermal and acoustic insulation (WLG 035) is placed in these compartments.

Find out more in the description of prefabricated house wall structure at Hanse Haus.

Construction documentation

During the creation of the working drawings, Hanse Haus draws up the production and execution plans on a scale of 1:50, with an accompanying production report.

The assembly plans contain, among other things, detailed drawings and information on the arrangement of technical installations e.g. for electricity, heating, ventilation and plumbing, depending on the chosen completion level and the contractually agreed scope of services.


For more, see our inclusive services 


CrefoZert is a certificate developed by the renowned credit agency Creditreform, which sets strict criteria for consistently good business practice and positive future prospects.

Hanse Haus received this certificate as one of the 1.7 per cent of German companies with an exceptionally good credit rating.


See our awards


Factory tour

We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to visit our factory and Fixture Centre beforehand. This will provide you with a comprehensive overview of our company and the opportunity to personally convince yourself of the high quality of our building methods and fixtures.


Homebuilders’ Centre 

Factory tour 

Flat roof

Flat roofs are roofs with a roof pitch of less than 5 degrees – according to some standards, with a roof pitch of less than 10 degrees. An incline of at least 2 per cent must be maintained so that rainwater can drain off.

At Hanse Haus you will find prefabricated flat roof houses under the name “Cubus”.


Granny flat

A granny flat is an additional flat in one’s home which can be used on its own. In order to be rented out, a granny flat must be closed off to the main residential unit and have its own access. The entrance can also be accessible through a shared vestibule or a stairwell. So a granny flat can also be built in the loft. If a house is located on a hillside, building a granny flat in the basement is a possibility. Granny flats are frequently used by parents or grandparents, or rented out and included in the financing.

Find out more about Hanse Haus’s houses with granny flat.


Hanse Haus’s warranty

In the interests our customers, our goodwill goes far beyond the warranty entitlements guaranteed under law. We measure the satisfaction of our customers through regular customer surveys. Their satisfaction is also confirmed by external customer surveys, most recently by Focus Money in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Hipped roof

Unlike pitched roofs, hipped roofs have sloping surfaces not only on the eaves side but also on the gable side. Hipped roofs are characterised by four roof surfaces. Thus, a complete hip replaces a gable. A hipped roof always ends at a ridge and has a gutter around its perimeter. A special form of the hipped roof is the pavilion roof.


To our houses with hipped roof 



Individual planning

Hanse Haus attaches great importance to fulfilling personal wishes with regard to architecture, floor planning and fixtures. With all our home models, you can enlarge or reduce the floor plans according to your own ideas and requirements, change room layouts, rearrange windows and terrace doors, and give the house an unmistakable look with countless colour combinations for the façade and interior.


Jamb wall

A maximum jamb wall height is often stipulated in the development plan. However, there is no uniform definition regarding the size of a jamb wall’s height.

In the development plan, the jamb wall height is often defined as follows:

The upper edge of the ceiling slab to the intersection of the lower edge of the rafters with the outer edge of the outer wall.

Jamb wall structure at Hanse Haus:

The upper edge of the ceiling slab to the upper edge of the wall plate.
The actual (finished) height of a room is about 20 cm lower than the jamb wall’s height.


KfW subsidy

Through the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German government subsidises energy-efficient houses with low-interest loans and repayment subsidies.


More on subsidies


Living space according to the Regulation on Living Space

Living space as defined in the Regulation on Living Space (WoFlV) is not identical with the net area.

Any area having a ceiling height of less than one metre does not count as living space.

If it has a ceiling height of one to two metres, only half of it is counted as living space.

From a room height of two metres, 100% of the area is counted.

Terraces and loggias can be counted at a quarter of their area, or up to half at the most.

Garages and technical rooms do not count as living space.


A loft is a floor located directly under the roof. Lofts are characterised by sloped ceilings, as is particularly the case with Hanse Haus’s Variant houses with pitched roof. Depending on the jamb wall height, the usability of the loft can vary. The higher the jamb wall, the more usable floor space and headroom are available under the ceiling slopes.

Low-energy house

There is no uniform definition of the term “low-energy house” in Germany. A house may be considered low-energy if its energy consumption lies well below the legally permissible values. In Germany, the requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) apply to buildings. Hanse Haus prefabricated houses meet these requirements as standard.


Net room area

The net room area (NRA) is a measurement of surface area as defined by DIN 277. It represents the sum of all usable areas of a building.

As a simple rule of thumb, all surfaces that can be fitted with flooring are included in the net room area.

The net room area comprises the usable area, the technical area and the circulation area.

The technical area houses technical installations for supplying and removing things to and from a building (e.g. utility room/technical room). Circulation areas are used for horizontal and vertical access to a building (e.g. halls, corridors, staircases).


Offset pent roof

The offset pent roof is a combination of two pent roofs arranged at different heights. The two roofs can have different jamb wall heights and pitches. If the height difference between the opposing roofs is large enough, a wall plate is added under the upper ridge, into which skylights can be installed.

If both halves of the roof have approximately the same inclination, it can also be called an offset pitched roof.

Discover our Hanse Haus prefabricated houses with offset pent roofs.


Partially finished house

The partially finished house is the first completion level and is ideal for experienced builders who wish to save money by doing their own interior construction but do not wish to forego Hanse Haus’s proven quality.

Passive house

A passive house is a building which, due to its good thermal insulation and other standards, generally does not require traditional building heating. The houses are called “passive” because the majority of the heat demand is covered by “passive” sources such as sunlight and waste heat from people and technical equipment.

According to the certification criteria of the Passive House Institute in Darmstadt, a passive house may not have a heating requirement of more than 15 kilowatt hours (energy content of approximately 1.5 litres of heating oil) per square metre per year.


Learn more about the energy efficiency of our prefabricated houses 

Pavilion roof

The construction of a pavilion roof is identical to that of a hipped roof. Pavilion roofs are mainly used for (relatively) square houses. In a pavilion roof, all roof surfaces meet at a common point. A pavilion roof is a form of hipped roof without a ridge.

For example, our prefabricated Villa 207 was built with a flat pavilion roof.

Planning options/extensions for prefabricated homes

With the many different planning and extension options such as a conservatory in the dining area or a wall dormer, which creates a bright gallery on the top floor and offers space for a window seat on the ground floor, you can expand your home individually and adapt it to your needs.

Pent roof

The pent roof is a roof shape with only one inclined surface. The pitch of a pent roof is between 5 and 15 degrees. The upper edge is the ridge, while the lower edge forms the eaves.

The living space under a pent roof usually has a sloped ceiling since there are no ceiling beams. The high wall side is preferably on the sunny side whilst the low wall side faces north.

Pent roofs are often covered with trapezoidal sheet or standing seam roofing. With roof tiles or slate, a rainproof underroof is necessary if there is a low roof pitch.

At Hanse Haus, you’ll find prefabricated pent roof houses under the name “Vita”.

Pitched roof

The pitched roof is the classic roof shape and the one most commonly found in Germany. Pitched roofs consist of two oppositely inclined roof surfaces which meet at the highest point. This horizontal edge is called the ridge, while the lower end is called the eaves. The roof edges along the two gable triangles of a pitched roof are called verges. With pitched roofs, inclinations of between 25 and 52 degrees and jamb wall heights of between 0.50 and 2.30 metres are common.

At Hanse Haus, you’ll find prefabricated houses with pitched roofs under the name “Variant”.

Prefabricated house

Since 1929, Hanse Haus has proven that prefabricated construction has nothing to do with pre-manufactured off-the-shelf houses – Hanse Haus attaches great importance to individual planning. Hanse Haus offers its clients time-saving, enjoyable and personalised all-round service, ranging from plot searches to relocation and customer service.

Preliminary sampling

At Hanse Haus, those interested in building a house have the opportunity to take part in guided tours of our fixtures at the Homebuilders’ Centre, even on weekends. The tours are independently conducted by a fixture consultant who can provide you with expert advice. The preliminary samples are ideal for giving you a first impression of the Hanse Haus’s standard scope of services. You can also request prices for special details in order to understand how much these fixtures will cost.

Interested in a guided preliminary sampling? Register right now.


Quality and reliability

At Hanse Haus, we believe that a machine can never replace years of accumulated know-how and true craftsmanship, but only complement it. This is why we still have real professionals working for us who have learned their craft from the ground up.

From planning, prefabrication and assembly to interior design, we can cover every trade in the entire construction process with our own employees.

Despite the annual increase in requirements, Hanse Haus has been able to operate at a consistently high level year after year and fulfil its own standards for prefabricated house construction and customer service. This work has been rewarded several times with various awards (see also certifications).


Reinforcement plaster

Reinforcement plaster is applied to Hanse Haus prefabricated homes at the factory. As a result, the exterior walls are already protected from weather conditions from the day of assembly.


Sampling / fixture consultation

Sampling refers to the selection of fixtures for a new building – in this case your Hanse Haus prefabricated house.

At Hanse Haus, you can select all the fixtures for your prefabricated house whilst visiting the Fixture Centre in Oberleichtersbach, which is more than 1,800 square metres in area. Whether floors, stairs, bathroom fixtures or windows – choose from our wide range of current branded products to individually furnish your home.

Show Home Park

At our Show Home Parks, you can personally experience, enter and touch the show homes of various housebuilding companies. Here, you can receive plenty of information on every possible building partner and exhibited home, as well as important personal impressions.

Our largest Show Home Park is the Buchrasen Residential Park at the Hanse Haus Homebuilders’ Centre in Oberleichtersbach, Bavaria. Be sure to drop by!

Smart home

Smart home systems control e.g. the heating, lighting and shading, and provide burglary protection. If you wish, you can integrate smart home comfort into your new Hanse Haus home.

Soil evaluation

A soil evaluation provides information on the composition, bearing capacity and geological conditions of the building site, as well as on requirements for the foundation and sealing.

If a Hanse Haus basement or floor slab is included in the scope of services, we will commission an independent building site soil evaluation for your project.


For more, see our inclusive services 

Solid house

A “solid house” is a house that consists of brickwork, concrete or reinforced concrete. Unlike prefabricated houses, which are pre-manufactured in a factory, a solid house is built on the construction site from the ground up and is therefore exposed to all weather conditions.


Thermal envelope

The thermal envelope encloses a heated and insulated area and separates it from the unheated environment. Accordingly, all building components which form the boundary between heated and unheated areas are referred to as the thermal envelope. In a residential dwelling this not only includes the outer walls of a house but also “closed openings” such as windows and doors, the roof and the foundation.

With our ThermoEfficiency walls, specially developed by Hanse Haus, our optimally insulated windows and doors and our thermal insulation in the roof structure, we already fulfil the strict KfW 40 Plus criteria as standard.


More on our Hanse Haus building envelope 

Timber frame construction

All walls are constructed of studs and horizontal noggins that create a frame which is filled with thermal and acoustic insulation made of mineral insulation (WLG 035) in the spaces between studs.

The entire timber frame construction is glued under high pressure to the OSB boards using hot-melt adhesive over the entire surface. This ensures maximum stability and prevents the internal insulation from sagging.


Read more on how walls are built in our timber frame construction


Upper floor

As regards the individual Hanse Haus home series, we refer to an “upper floor” if there are no ceiling slopes on this floor but room-high walls. In the Villa house series (with hipped roof), Vita (with pent roof) and Cubus (with flat roof), we always refer to a ground floor and an upper floor.

U-value (heat transfer coefficient: W/m²K)

The U-value is a heat transfer coefficient which describes the thermal insulation used in housebuilding. It indicates how much heat flows through a building component between the inside and outside – per square meter of area and per degree of temperature efficiency.

The higher the U-value of an insulating material, the lower its thermal insulation ability (negative).

The lower the U-value of an insulating material or the greater the heat transfer resistance, the better it insulates heat.


To the thermal insulation used in Hanse Haus prefabricated houses 



Wood panel construction

Our Hanse Haus Thermo Efficiency Walls combine high-strength construction with excellent thermal insulation. The wooden stud walls are glued under pressure with high-quality OSB boards using hot-melt adhesive. Your advantage: you can attach shelves or cabinets weighing more than 250 kg with normal screws anywhere, to any wall, in any room. Without any drilling or dowels. The clear ceiling height (finished height) on the ground, upper and attic floors is approx. 2.50 metres, measured from the upper edge of the finished floor to the lower edge of the finished ceiling. Larger room heights such as 2.70 m are available on request ex works.