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Re-engineering the traditional home

Why a circular home, constructed off site and erected in one-day – which literally screws into the ground, and which sets a new benchmark for energy efficiency – is revolutionising home construction

With home ownership now much more the norm than the exception, and with more of us than ever choosing to invest in property rather than stocks and shares, it’s fair to say that the appeal of bricks and mortar has never been stronger.

But why bricks? And why mortar? After all, we live in a very modern age, and our world is being re-engineered, reworked, and redesigned before our eyes. But the homes that shelter us haven’t kept up with this pace of change. In fact, basic construction techniques have evolved little since our Victorian forebears, and many floorplans can be traced back to the Tudors and before. The only thing that has changed is size, with homes now half the square footage they were in the 1920s.

The problem with old methods

The fact that today’s homes still rely on traditional construction methods is a major problem, in terms of affordability and sustainability. These labour-intensive processes have been developed based on need and not on efficiency or efficacy, and on a perception of what the public actually wants – all of which we believe is seriously outdated.

Why should a home take from its environment rather than give back? Why should construction be a potentially combative process? Why should we have to pour tonnes of concrete into the ground to form foundations, and then pile thousands of bricks on top of this? And why should any home that makes more than a cursory nod towards energy efficiency and the environment be hailed as exceptional rather than modelled as the norm?

We believe that there is a different way. That we can – quite literally – go back to the drawing board and look again at the homes of the future. That we can design them to be fit for purpose, now and for the next generation, and the next… But it involves re-engineering every aspect, challenging every status quo. Not for the sake of being different, but to ask ‘why?’ And ‘what if?’ ‘What would need to happen’. And that’s what we’ve done with mi-pad.


House design that meets today’s needs

It’s circular because it makes very much more sense to be. A square or rectangular home has 20% more external surface for exactly the same square footage, and that means more product, more construction, and more carbon footprint.

mi-pad is constructed off site in a dedicated factory so that we can maximise every opportunity for efficiency, and it’s delivered to site in just four parts which are simple to lock together and which don’t rely on highly-skilled operatives. The design is based on a patented screw pile foundation which sees no concrete poured into the ground, in fact no other foundations at all. It has a quick release from the screw pile anchors, can be removed or reversed, and can be recycled.

It can be erected in a day, it’s suitable for floodplains as it can float, and it can withstand earthquakes too – opening up whole new environments to us all. mi-pad collects its own water via a roof-based system, which is purified and opened up for use, and it generates its own electricity via photovoltaic panels on the roof, with an in-built ability to store electricity to charge a DC electric car. Learn more.

Style as well as sustainability

Heating is via solar gains through the glazing, but there’s an additional log burner for cooler climates, and because we believe in individual expression as well as the environment, we offer 30,000 colour choices and have based our design on individual floors and ceilings to allow complete flexibility and interchangeability of design and layout. In fact, the homeowner can even choose for their mi-pad to be delivered fully decorated and furnished.

In total, mi-pad weighs just 35 tonnes, loses 20% less heat and uses 20% less materials than a comparable standard construction property, and offers the ultimate in energy efficiency. It’s most certainly the home of the future, and it’s being sold now.

So the only question that remains, is how much longer will bricks and mortar be considered a good investment, and when will we all start to realise that we can expect so much more?

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