Photos: Prefabricated, Foldable House Builds in a Day
Originally published by: New Atlas — November 11, 2017
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Italian architect Renato Vidal has created a prefabricated foldable house that takes less than a day to install once on site. The M.A.Di home is an economic flat-packed housing solution that is not only sustainable, but designed to last and withstand earthquakes. Manufactured by wood specialist Area Legno in Italy, the M.A.Di home is built using CLT (cross laminated timber) to create a modular and multi-functional anti-seismic family home.
The M.A.Di home comes in several sizes, including a 27-sq m (290-sq ft) tiny house; 46-sq m (495-sq ft) or 56-sq m (603-sq ft) double home and a 70-sq m (753-sq ft) or 84-sq m (904-sq ft) triple family house. Each home stretches over two levels and comes equipped with a kitchen, dining area and bathroom located on the ground floor, while the bedroom/s are located on the upper floor. The building's A frame structure and unique folding ability allows the home to be prefabricated off site, flat-packed and transported via truck or container to its designated build site.
"Thanks to the home's steel profile and steel hinges we can open and close this module with ease," Domenico Antonucci from Area Legno tells New Atlas. "When the module is closed and folded for transportation the packed height measures 1.5 m (4.9 ft), and then when it is opened on site, it has a height of 6.5 m (21.3 ft)."
Each M.A.Di module features galvanized steel frames suitably proportioned to support the home's opening and closing movement. Polyurethane foam is used to waterproof the home while also contributing to its thermal insulation. The walls are also insulated with high-density rockwool and the window frames can be installed in PVC or aluminum.
Once on site the installation of the home is relatively simple, as each module unfolds up and out. Finishes such as roof pitches, interior flooring, internal and exterior walls come on mounting boards for simple assembly. The entire process should take three workers six to seven hours to complete.
The M.A.Di home can be installed as a temporary or permanent structure and does not necessarily need any foundations at ground level, allowing the structure to have zero impact on the landscape. The home is anchored down using an innovative screw pile system, which has no impact on the soil and can leave the land without a footprint. Alternatively, the home can be built on top of a reinforced concrete foundation.
If desired, the home can be packed away and stored in a warehouse for future uses. As the home is built using modules, owners have the option to extend in the future by adjoining additional modules to their existing M.A.Di home.
"M.A.DI. gives you the opportunity to have a temporary house wherever you want or a permanent house in a building area," says M.A.Di. "Moreover, according to your need and your financial availability you can customize it in dimensions and materials. A M.A.Di construction is ready to live in and is delivered with electrical system, plumbing and sanitary water system, heating/cooling system (air conditioning) and PVC frames."
The standard M.A.Di structure is considered class B (European standard) for energy consumption, but can be customized to meet class A and A++. This includes the possibility of making it a passive house. The home can easily be installed with rooftop solar panels, LED lighting, water tanks and a gray water system.
A M.A.Di home will take approximately 30-40 days to complete from date of order, with an all inclusive unit price around €800 (US$933) per square meter. Therefore, the basic M.A.Di homes are priced approximately between €21,600 (US$25,195) for the tiny module and €67,200 (US$73,385) for the biggest module. The home is then flat-packed and transported by truck or container, and can be delivered outside of Italy.
"We have a patent registered all over the world and we will start to sell the M.A.Di house in about two months," says Antonucci. "We would like to export out of Italy and we are looking for partnerships, investor and buyers. I hope to sell it out of Italy, North Europe, USA and Australia."