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Technical features

Re-engineering the traditional home

Powerful, patented design

A unique base and structure

A mi-pad dwelling is a timber-framed circular building which is prefabricated into modules, with three sections per floor and a central steel supporting structure.

All sections are designed to be completed to the customer’s specification before delivery to minimise assembly time on-site, which involves fitting together the units to form a completed mi-pad dwelling.

With the patent of mi-technology it allows us to develop square or rectangular structures too.

A unique base and structure

Our build materials

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

What is mi-pad made of?

Cost-effective techniques

How is mi-pad made?

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

Screw-pile foundations

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 or concrete filling.

Screw piles incorporate a steel tube with helical flights welded on to the lead sections, which are literally screwed into the ground to the point at which the foundations are ready to accept full load.

There are different types of screw-pile foundation, so a geotechnical survey must be undertaken at each mi-pad site.

Ring beams

The load bearing system of mi-pad transmits the weight of the property safely to the ground in accordance with Part A of UK Building Regulations. There are two principle load-bearing components: the external walls and the central section.

The ring beams are at the top and bottom of each section’s external wall. When the sections are in place, the ring beams – if visible – appear to form a ring around the circumference of the dwelling, hence the name.

Ring beams have multiple purposes – they:

  • Define the shape of the dwelling
  • Provide vertical and lateral rigidity throughout the property
  • Transfer the vertical load from the floor and ceiling joists down through to the foundations
  • House the vertical threaded bars which lift and secure each section during transportation

Why screw piles?

With this system, we can 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, a mi-pad dwelling could be quickly released from its screw-pile anchors, allowing it to float on water – therefore minimising damage and insurance costs.

Central section

The individual segments (three per floor) of a mi-pad dwelling are attached centrally to a steel structure. This central section sits around a 5mm thick, 114mm wide central steel cylinder. On each floor, there is an upper and lower steel support, mounted to the central column via three 5mm x 200mm flat steel sections radiating out of the column, aligned to meet between the sections’ joining faces.

There is a further section of angled steel welded to the flat section of steel, which is used to support the floor joists. Ceiling joists are supported up through the rear joist mount, which is fixed to the underside of the angled steel with four 22mm bolts.

Spacious interior

Floors, walls and ceilings

Floors & ceilings

Each mi-pad segment has a floor and ceiling.

External walls

Each mi-pad segment has 14 vertical external wall members.

Internal walls

Within the mi-pad dwelling there are three types of internal wall: stud walls, segment adjoining walls and walls adjoining the central steel section.

Floors, walls and ceilings

Custom made

Windows and doors


Custom-made, triple-glazed, krypton-filled windows offer excellent thermal and acoustic properties, especially compared to other glazing systems.


All doors are wheelchair-friendly, having been designed with Part M of UK Building Regulations in mind.

Windows and doors


Custom-made, triple-glazed, krypton-filled windows offer excellent thermal and acoustic properties, especially compared to other glazing systems. The glazing is made from toughened glass, which is easily and safely breakable and meets the requirements for Part B of UK Building Regulations.

There are four primary glazing sizes in the property, constructed within aluminium frames and timber surrounds which are designed to reduce thermal bridging and therefore loss of heat.

Thermally efficient windows are an important component in any energy-conscious building. In a mi-pad dwelling, they optimise the sun’s power and help to retail its warmth without overheating.


All doors are wheelchair-friendly, having been designed with Part M of UK Building Regulations in mind.

Accessibility is an important design feature of mi-pad, demonstrated by the openness and adaptability of the layout.

Stairs can be fitted with a bespoke lift. Front door has keyless entry.

Water services, sanitary plumbing and drainage

mi-pad is fitted with the world’s first integral rooftop water collector and purifier system. Each segment in the dwelling’s structure contains a covered rooftop tank, which collects rainwater from the surface runoff of the solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems. The total rainwater catchment area exceeds 80m2.

While the standard combined capacity of the water storage tanks is 5,000 litres, larger properties with higher water demands (in North Wales, for instance) can have tank sizes up to 9,000 litres, subject to structural evaluation.

Each tank feeds the grey water requirements of the toilets and washing machine. Additional filtration systems can be incorporated to provide potable water, and essentially 100% of the dwelling’s water requirements from the harvested rainwater (at an additional cost and subject to exacting legislation and specification).

Energy efficient technologies

Power, heating, insulation and ventilation



The mi-pad can be used on or off grid.

A roof mounted 4kWp solar photovoltaic system is connected to a centralised battery storage system, capturing more solar energy than regular solar-power set ups and supplying a dwelling’s entire energy needs. Electricity can be stored in the battery when not in use, and redistributed on demand in 12, 48 or 240 volts.

Grid-connected AC (alternating current) is the most conventional system available, but we’re currently researching ways to utilise DC (direct current) so we can avoid the conversion losses inherent within AC systems. 
A separate charging point can be installed for a DC electric car or bike.

Heating and insulation

Heating and insulation

The dwelling virtually heats itself. Its unique patented circular design and custom-made windows capture and retain the sun’s warmth throughout its daily cycle.

Walls are also sprayed and injected with polyurethane foam, boosting the building’s natural thermo-efficiency, far exceeding the requirements of current UK legislation.

It has a unique carbon fibre infrared heating system. With the high efficiency of the thermal insulation in hot climates it can take the cooler air from under the building and cool.



For a building to minimise its carbon footprint, it must be as near to airtight as possible. The dwelling’s heat-recovery system provides ample ventilation during colder weather, while minimising heat waste via manual purge ventilation techniques.

It has smoke sensors and sprinkler systems as standard.

Disclaimer: All information is provided in good faith and is based on sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of release of the site for guidance and reference purposes only. mi-pad® do not accept legal liability or responsibility for the content of the information or any consequences arising from its use.

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