The consortium is headed by developer Urban Settings and includes architect Burland TM and Bournemouth contractor George & Harding.
The consortium estimates that a fully fitted home for a single person could be built for £28,000 using this method of prefabrication.
Buro Happold director Rod MacDonald said: "In the past, most modular housing projects have adapted existing systems. We are designing a bespoke system that will take full advantage of production-line systems.
"We are in discussion with a number of container manufacturers in the Far East. And we are talking to the G15 group of major British housing associations about setting up a prototype project."