You can assemble this foldable M.A.DI flatpack A-frame home in just six hours

Tiny homes and modular construction are all the rage these days, but one brilliant Italian architect may have created the most versatile combination of the two trends yet with the M.A.DI house. Comparable to a moveable property, these foldable modular living units are a bargain starting at about $33,000.

The hyper-deployable units arrive flatpack from the factory and require a crane and three people to pull up the pitched roof into an A-frame design. The opening and closing movement is based on technology guaranteed to hold up by special steel hinges.

M.A.DI stands for “Modulo Abitativo Dispiegabile,” which roughly translates from Italian to “unfoldable housing module.” The units are the brainchild of Italian architect Renato Vidal and are manufactured by wood specialist Area Legno in Italy. They’re built using cross laminated timber to create these modular and multi-use housing units.

“Its specificity lies in the extremely simplified deployment technique.”

Unlike other modular housing units, the M.A.DI house doesn’t require a concrete base. Any flat surface will do, meaning the design and deployment has zero environmental impacts. Its patented anchoring system has no impact on soil, and it is recoverable at 100 percent.

“Its specificity lies in the extremely simplified deployment technique,” according to the company’s website.

Once the roof has been pitched, the deployment team adds internal walls, windows and flooring, with the whole process taking six to seven hours. Water, sanitary, electrical, air conditioning, heating and drainage system are all pre-installed as well as connections for a kitchen. The system is entirely prefabricated in Italy and each element of the M.A.DI home is dry assembled and easy to put together and maintain.

The standard M.A.DI structure is classified as class B by European standards for energy consumption, but the unit can be customized to meet class A standards. This means the home can be converted to a passive house with the installation of amenities like rooftop solar panels, LED lighting, water tanks and a gray water system.

Because the construction system is both modular and foldable, the houses are customizable, expandable and transportable. The M.A.DI house is also earthquake-resistant, which means they can be deployed for affordable housing, temporary quarters for sporting and entertainment events, or medical facilities to help communities around the world recover from natural disasters.

When it’s time to move out, the structure can be disassembled and stored for future use.

“M.A.DI gives you the opportunity to have a temporary house wherever you want or a permanent house in a building area. Moreover, according to your need and your financial availability you can customize it in dimensions and materials,” according to the company’s website.

The multi-functional modular structures can also be as small or as sprawling as a customer desires. The company currently offers five models that can be interconnected as needed. The smallest is a single module that measures 27 square meters, or about 290 square feet. The double module comes in both basic and luxury versions and measures 46 square feet or roughly 500 square feet. Finally, there’s a triple module designed for families or small companies that range from 70 square meters (753 square feet) to 84 square meters (904 square feet).

Pricing ranges from $33,00 for the single module and up to $73,000 for a triple module. Other options include an additional module for $21,000 and a staircase for an extra $2700. Construction and delivery takes approximately 30 to 40 days from date of order, with a unit price around $930 per square meter. It’s unclear as of yet whether the units are subject to building permits due to their temporary characteristics.

The housing units were featured earlier this year at the Milano Design Village in Milan, Italy, and were a hit with guests as well as the international press. Attention on social media has been on par with comparable projects like Ten Fold Engineering’s folding mobile structures.

Unfortunately, the M.A.DI units are currently only available in Italy. However, architect Renato Vidal and his team have secured an international patent and hope to start selling abroad in early 2018. The company hopes to export its products from Italy to North Europe, Australia and the United States.

Product Review

4K in home security is finally here, thanks to Arlo’s Ultra UHD smart cam

The 4K home security camera is finally here! Class-leading image clarity and a super-wide field of vision makes Arlo Ultra an early contender for the year’s best smart cam. While there are definite quirks to the device, the device…

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.
Smart Home

Power through your afternoon slump with the best espresso machines

Brew professional-style espresso drinks and become the envy of your neighborhood with one of the best espresso machines on the planet. We have options across a range of price points, perfect for any budget.

The Denali XL feels like one big-ass tiny home compared to others

The Denali XL is a tiny home that is quite spacious, offering almost 400-square-feet of space. It can be assembled for about $125,000 and features a massive living room and kitchen.

Tech meets old-school craftsmanship in the Mercedes-Benz GLB concept

The long-rumored Mercedes-Benz GLB debuted as a prototype at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show with a design that borrows styling cues from the G-Class. The seven-seat compact model is already on its way to becoming a production model.
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…
Smart Home

Ecobee leverages humor in a heated discussion with climate change skeptics

Ecobee cranked up the heat on climate change doubters. In observance of Earth Day, Ecobee and ad agency DCX released video of a social experiment that tested the effectiveness of humor in easing tension during discussions with skeptics.
Smart Home

Miele stuns with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and other new products

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.

Shark, Ecovacs, and Roomba robot vacuums get price cuts for spring

The weather's getting nice again, and we're all emerging from our winter-long hibernation. So it's time once again to also start on that spring cleaning you've been putting off. But who really wants to clean when you'd rather be outside? We…
Smart Home

Echo Plus (1st-gen) vs. Echo Plus (2nd-gen): How exactly do they compare?

Which Echo Plus should you buy? This guide compares the first-generation Echo Plus its latest successor, allowing you to get a better idea regarding the ins and outs of each device.
Smart Home

Making hard-boiled eggs isn’t hard — here’s how to do it perfectly every time

With the help of science or some kitchen gadgets, making hard-boiled eggs can be a little easier. It may not be the hardest task in the world, but a few of these methods are foolproof.

Amazon and Best Buy smash prices on August smart home security locks

Amazon and Best Buy have the lowest prices for two August smart home door locks during a limited time sale. August was one of the first smart door lock companies designed specifically for smart home convenience and security.

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Smart Home

Get baked while you bake with these clever cannabis cooking gadgets

Ready to step up your edibles game? Here are the best cannabis cooking gadgets for your kitchen, from an "Instant Pot" for your cannabutter to the best grinders and decarbing devices on the market. Check out the full list for more.