Prefab Sprout-ing?

Prefab Sprout-ing?

13th December 2017

We’re not sure if this is good news for the construction industry or not, but it’s an absolutely fascinating development so we couldn’t resist letting our readers know about it.  We’ve covered the topic of modular building several times in the past.  After all, it’s being hailed as a great way to help to address the current skills shortage and deliver the new homes that Britain so desperately needs.  What’s more, there are other benefits brought by modular buildings, one of which is dear to our hearts here at Safety Fabrications – it eliminates much of the working at height involved in building new homes, offering a reduction in risk and an increase in safety.  We even took a look at the last of the post-war prefab homes after discovering that residents in London’s last community of prefab houses were fighting property developers (sadly, in vain) to save their homes from demolition and redevelopment.  With the increase in the adoption of modular building technology, prefabrication is again on the rise in the UK.

We’ve now come across a stunning little prefab house that comes flat-packed and requires no foundation when used as a temporary structure.  Innovative Italian architect, Renato Vidal, has designed the M.A.DI. house which is versatile and highly customisable, making it suitable for many purposes, including:

Ascent Fall Protection Post


·         Residential

·         Hospitality

·         Disaster-relief

·         Pop up facilities/offices at festivals, fairs and other public events. 





MADI House, image by kind permission of MADI

The house is delivered in a flat-pack format and a crane is necessary to pull the pitched roof upwards to form the A-frame, a design that has been gaining in popularity in recent years, so it’s very much on-trend.  Internal walls, windows and floors are added and the whole building process takes just six or seven hours to complete.  The house comes with its own electrical system, plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system, all ready to use once the house is assembled.  Some components are already fitted on the house, hinged to fold outwards as the house is built.  As you will see from the video below of the M.A.DI, house being erected, it doesn’t completely eliminate work at height because the upper windows need to be installed.  This is being achieve with the use of a cherry picker, an ideal option when it comes to staying safe while working at height. 

The MADI house comes in three different sizes, each of which provides two floors of living space, including a kitchen and a bathroom.  The sizes on offer are as follows:

·         27 square metres (290 square feet)

·         56 square metres ( 603 square feet)

·         84 square metres (904 square feet)

Part of the M.A.DI. house’s attraction is its flexibility – when it’s time to move, the whole structure can be disassembled, refolded and moved to a new location or stored until the next time it’s used.  The pricing on these houses make them eminently affordable too – beginning at just €28,000 which may make these homes an attractive option for youngsters in the UK who are struggling to get on the housing ladder.  Of course, they will still need the land on which to erect the house, but with house prices in the UK rising so rapidly that young couples are getting priced out of the market, we may be seeing these in parts of the UK before very long.