Foldable Home Can Be Installed in a Day

Living Room

Prefab homes are a great solution when looking to build fast, and now there is another awesome option to do so on the market.  The Italian architect Renato Vidal has recently unveiled a prefab foldable home, which can be installed in less than a day. The so-called M.A.Di home comes flat-packed and is built using sustainable materials and means, but designed with durability in mind.  It can also withstand earthquakes.

The M.A.Di home is made of CLT (cross laminated timber) and manufactured by wood specialist Area Legno in Italy. It is available in several sizes, namely a 290-sq ft (27-sq m) tiny home, a slightly larger 495-sq ft (46-sq m) home, a 603-sq ft (56-sq m) home, a family sized 753-sq ft (70-sq m) home, or an even larger family home of 904-sq ft (84-sq m).  All the models have two levels and have a kitchen, dining area and bathroom located on the ground level, and bedrooms on the upper level. The homes feature an A frame structure, which makes it easy to fold them for flat-packing and easy transport to the build site.

Exterior

Exterior

Bedroom

Living Room

The home features a steel profile and steel hinges, meaning that each module can be opened and closed with ease.  When closed and folded, the height of the package is just 4.9 ft (1.5 m), while opened, it measures 21.3 ft (6.5 ft) in height. All of the M.A.Di modules have galvanized steel frames which are designed to support the home’s opening and closing movement. The homes are waterproofed using Polyurethane foam, which also provides the thermal insulation. In addition to this, the walls are insulated using high-density rockwool, while the windows can either be PVC or aluminum.

The actual installation is very simple, since each module just unfolds up.  The home doesn’t need a foundation, since it can be anchored in place with a specially-designed screw pile system, which has virtually no impact so this home has a very tiny footprint.   The home can also be built on a reinforced concrete foundation, if so desired.

Large Module Plan

Single Module Plan

The home can be easily packed away, while it is possible to extend the existing home by adding new modules. It can also be designed according to passive house standards, while there is also the option of taking it off-the-grid by installing a solar power array, composting toilet, water tanks and a gray water system.

The price of this home is $933 (€800) per square meter, so the smallest home will cost about $25,195 (€21,600) and the largest $73,385 (€67,200).

Luxury Prefab Off-The-Grid Cabin

The recently unveiled Gapahuk cabin was designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta and the leisure home builder Rindalshytter. It can be equipped to operate completely independently of the grid, and comes in a prefabricated package, meaning it can be built virtually anywhere.

The Gapahuk is a single story structure and has 968 sq ft (90 sq m) of interior floorspace. The interior is well-laid out, with most of the space taken up by a large open plan living/dining area and kitchen. The home also features three bedrooms, a spacious bathroom with a shower and toilet, and another separate toilet. The home also features a large covered outdoor deck, and plenty of storage areas, both inside and out.

Judging from the renders, the finished home will feature ample glazing, while most of the interior and exterior surfaces will be clad in wood. While the basic version is intended to be hooked up to the grid, it would also be easy to install the necessary tech to take if off-grid. according to the firm, the cabin’s sloping roof is ideal for installing solar panels, while it also protects from both the sun and from high winds. The home is heated by a wood burning stove, while it would probably be relatively simple to install a composting toilet, and a couple of water tanks and a water filtration system. Since the home was designed in Norway, it is probably safe to assume it offers comfortable living conditions even in the harshest climates.

The Gapahuk is probably the closest thing you can get to a professionally designed, high-end prefab home at the moment, and as such also carries a hefty price tag. It costs roughly $156,600 (1350,000 NOK) which does not include construction, or any of the off-grid features.

Shed Made of Recycled Materials

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The West Wing, as this eco shed is called, was recently completed by UK shed-maker Kevin Herbert. About 90 percent of the materials used to construct it were recycled, and it took him eight years to finish it. While this sounds like a long time, the process was a real labor of love and some things shouldn’t be rushed.

The shed is located at the edge of his garden in Berkshire, England, and it is made up of three main sections. The ground floor is comprised of a lounge, workshop and storage place. There is also a loft, which can be used as a bedroom. The shed also features a secret room, hidden behind a bookcase, which can be used as a children’s playroom or bedroom. There is no kitchen or bathroom, but then again, the main function of the shed is to be a place for working or relaxing and the main house is not far away.

lounge

hidden

The structure is made of wood and features a green roof. For drainage Kevin installed 400 used milk cartons, which he first cut and then layered to serve this purpose. It took him over a year to collect all these cartons, but the effort was certainly worth it. This layer of milk cartons was then covered with about two tons of soil and turf to create the green roof and very effectively insulate the home.

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In the UK, where garden sheds are very popular, they also hold an annual Shed of the Year competition. The 2016 award was given to the West Wing, mostly due to its many eco-friendly and sustainable features.

It’s nice to see sustainable builds gaining more and more recognition in architecture competitions, since this will hopefully lead to more mainstream adoption of such building practices.

Imaginative Off-The-Grid Tiny Home

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A large part of the appeal of tiny homes lies in the unique design that these bite-sized dwellings offer. And the so-called Moon Dragon, recently created by the tiny home designer Zyl Vardos of Olympia, Washington is certainly one of the more imaginative and unique small homes we’ve seen in a long time. It looks like something from a fairytale, and can function completely independently of the grid.

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The Moon Dragon is comprised of a 9 x 24 ft (2.7 x 7.31 m) main floor and a 9 x 13 ft (2.7 x 4 m) sleeping loft, and has a total footprint of 13.1 x 9 x 24 ft (4 x 2.7 x 7.3 m). Almost the entire exterior of the home is clad in Onduvilla shingles. The Dutch-style front door was hand built, and opens into a cozy and spacious living area. A wood-burning stove is to be installed here to provide heat for the entire home.

The kitchen features plenty of counter space (made of laminated oak) for such a tiny dwelling. It is also equipped with a five-burner range cooker, an energy-efficient fridge, two ovens, and a pantry. There is also an energy-efficient washing machine installed in this area of the home.

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The bathroom is located at the rear of the home and features a composting toilet, as well as a concrete panel-lined shower and a hand-made sink. The bedroom is located in the loft, which is accessible via a storage stair. The loft is large enough to fit a double bed with room to spare, two closets, and its 5.5 ft (1.67 m) headspace is also quite impressive.

storage stair

loft

All the cabinetry and walls of the Moon Dragon were built using mahogany ply, while cedar tongue and groove composite was used to create the arched ceiling. Cork was used for the flooring. The home gets its power from harvesting solar energy, though it can also be hooked up to the grid.

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toilet

Given the amount of work and materials that have gone into creating this home, it is quite pricy (as you would expect) and sells for about $96,000.

Gorgeous and Light-Filled Passive House

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Passive homes are often criticized for being more about satisfying rigid and strict guidelines than about being a home to somebody. But thankfully, that is starting to change in recent times, as is clearly demonstrated by the so-called Tigh na Croit house recently built in Scotland. Just looking at the pictures I’d never guess this was a Passive Home, due to its modern design. It’s spacious, full of natural daylight and must be quite comfortable to live in. it also recently won the Passivhaus award, given out by UK’s Passivhaus Trust, in the Rural Category.

The L-shaped, single story house features a large open plan kitchen, living and dining area, as well as three bedrooms, a cinema room, a utility space, and a storage area. The main living areas have a southern orientation, and open onto a small but functional terrace, so the occupants can better enjoy the surrounding countryside. Which is absolutely gorgeous, by the way.

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The bedrooms face eastward in order to make the most of the rising sun. The home also features large windows throughout, which offers great views, and connect the occupants with the outdoors. The home also features a number of skylights. They installed an air source heat pump and a wood burning stove to provide heating, while the bathrooms are fitted with electric towel bars, which are powerful enough to heat up the space.

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The design of the home also looks nothing like the Passive homes we are used to seeing, as in it’s not boxy with small windows. Hopefully, this home is one of the heralds of a new era of more occupant-friendly Passive House designs.