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Potomac Heights, Mutual Homeowners Association, is a cooperative community established in 1949 located about 20 miles south of Washington, D.C. in Indian Head, MD. Our community is situated on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, a convenient drive to the Indian Head Naval Support Facility, Waldorf, La Plata, and Washington, D.C.

With the rapid growth of Indian Head and the Naval Powder Factory, the need for affordable housing for defense workers and their families was necessary during the war. The Defense Housing Program began to plan for modern, comfortable accommodations close to the base.

The Public Buildings Administration had been active in building homes for married workers employed by the Naval Powder Factory in Indian Head, Maryland. Each house is prefabricated, and specifications call for easy dismantling of every unit as one of the major requirements

Each unit was assembled at a prefabrication plant, then dismantled, loaded into a truck, hauled thirty or forty miles over rough roads, then re-erected at the residential site. By encouraging prefabricated homes, the PBA hoped to redistribute these homes as needed during and after the war.

The prefabrication objective is to manufacture a house entirely within the factory walls and ship it to the site in prebuilt sections. These sections are quickly joined together at the site, and provisions to disassembled each house with minimum waste. When a conventional construction house is dismantled, the operation is usually accompanied by an unavoidable waste of valuable materials and equipment.

The Public Buildings Administration employed two different prefabrication systems. These were technical differences of slight interest to the layman but of great importance in the house’s ultimate serviceability. It was to study the practicability of disassembling prefabricated houses of various designs. PBA set up test conditions in Indian Head, Maryland, at the Naval Powder Factory.


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