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Frequently asked mi-pad® questions

What is a mi-pad dwelling?

A mi-pad dwelling is a timber-framed circular building which is prefabricated into modules, made up of three sections per floor and a central steel supporting structure. It can be adapted for many uses – a permanent home, temporary accommodation, emergency housing, corporate base or commercial outlet.

It’s designed to be uniquely sustainable – thanks to many eco-features – and responsive to hot and cold climates. It can even float in flood-prone areas.

mi-pad can be one, two or three-storeys high, offering one to three bedrooms and a multitude of layout options – or bespoke packages on request. The dwelling is made up of individual sections, each with a floor and ceiling, which can be interchanged for flexibility.

See floor plans for more details.

We’ve designed mi-pad so that it’s accessible to as many people as possible. The layout and doors are wheelchair-friendly (and fully compliant with Part M of UK Building Regulations) and the fittings can be adapted to suit various needs. Also, stairs can be fitted with a bespoke lift.

There are many reasons why round is better than square – like a better vista, an enhanced sense of space and freedom, superior insulation… find out more

Take your pick from 30,000 colours. Soon you’ll be able to personalise and order mi-pad online

No, not unless you want it. While mi-pad has curves in all the right places, it also has straight internal walls. Even so, round is catching on… the external walls are similar in diameter to many curved TVs.

What is mi-pad made of?

The simple answer is: a few very tough, light and totally recyclable materials.

  • Timber OSB (oriented strand board)
    Timber shavings are interlocked by crossing, gluing and pressing together to make a strong board
  • Polyurethane glue
  • Polyurethane foam
  • Steel
  • Elastomers
  • Flexible Render

The elements are built in a semi-automated factory using state-of-the-art technology – in other words, put together very precisely by robots. Why? This cuts the cost of production by more than 20% per square-metre.

  • The timber OSB sheets are screwed and glued together using polyurethane glue
  • The superstructure, the unique patented frame, is made from the same material – the spars are hollowed out, a bit like the air frame of an aeroplane
  • The walls are sprayed and injected with polyurethane foam, making them extremely well insulated
  • In the centre structure is a triangular steel pylon shape incorporating a steel pole
  • The perimeter’s curved structural beams are elastomers, which are fully cast in to the OSB structure
  • The exterior is a flexible render that is available in 30,000 colours

Find out more in our technical features.

A mi-pad dwelling is fixed to the ground using screw-pile foundations. First developed in 1833, screw piles provide a sound, more sustainable and flexible alternative to traditional foundation systems because there’s no need for soil extraction and/or concrete.

The use of screw-pile foundations enables us to build homes in all sorts of environments that may be cheaper to develop but would otherwise be unsuitable – floodplains or contaminated land, for example.

In a flood scenario, the dwelling could be quickly released from its screw-pile anchors, allowing it to float on the water – and therefore minimising damage and insurance costs.

All this helps in making housing more affordable to all.

A mi-pad dwelling consists of two principle load-bearing components: the external walls and the central section. To construct our dwellings, we use ring beams to connect the walls together and to increase the load capacity, ensuring compliance with Part A of UK Building Regulations.

On delivery of all components, mi-pad can be built, installed and ready to go in just a day. There’s a useful summary here.

Do I need to already own a piece of land?

There are various options. If you already own land, subject to planning, you can install mi-pad on it. Otherwise, you may be able to purchase a plot or take out a lease on an existing development or start your own development.

You’ll need a minimum sized plot of 12 square metres, providing enough access area around the perimeter of the dwelling, which has a diameter of 9.6 metres.

Although mi-pad is reversible (which means you can remove it) it’s a permanent structure and so will need planning permission specific to its use, whether domestic or commercial.

Can mi-pad connect to service mains?

Yes, in one central location that includes water, waste water, electricity and telephone.

You’ll find all the detail in technical features.

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