Home Building Curiosities: M.A.DI

July 22nd, 2020

Dear Readers,

Ready for the fourth edition to our Home Building Curiosity collection? Here are some dramatic hints to what you are about to absorb…

…[intense, theatrical music playing]…The home’s structure is cross laminated timber, it’s reinforced with galvanized steel frames to allow it to fold from a box to a customized A-frame home, it has the possibility to meet Passive House standards with its high density rockwool insulation and waterproofing polyurethane foam, the models range from 365 to 925 square feet, it’s a masterpiece by architect Renato Vidal…it’s innovative…it’s modular…it’s Italian…it’s MADi

[Right about here, the crowd would go wild]


MADi’s goal is to make homes more affordable to us Average Joe’s, and they achieve this initiative through a perfected prefabrication system. They use cross laminated timber (CLT) in their construction…which greatly speeds up the manufacturing process while maintaining a high quality build. Panels of CLT can be routed in the factory to meet design requirements, and then put together like building blocks to make a home. They are the structure of the home…and a strong, fire and earthquake resistant one at that. 

How the MADi homes are assembled on-site makes William’s roof origami look incredibly feasible….

Credit: M.A.Di


It has been claimed that they are able to do all of that in the above video, plus the installation of all of these… 

  1. PVC windows with high thermal efficiency and wooden frame doors. 
  2. All electrical wiring, including lights, light switches, power points, stove connection outlet and main power input connection point.
  3. All plumbing, including main water input & output connection points.
  4. Bathroom including toilet, shower, tapware and hot water system.
  5. Split system air-conditioning.
  6. Wooden Staircase.1

…in less than 7 hours.2 

When the homes are transported, their packaged height measures 4.9 feet. That’s less than five feet! Once the home goes through its crazy cool metamorphosis, the height measures 21.3 feet. Real life homes abiding by real life road regulations…which must be crazy tough in Italy with all those narrow streets…

Passive House

While meeting Passive House requirements does not come with MADi’s standard model home, they do claim that it is an option.3 Their standard version of MADi homes meet energy class B regulations, and have the capacity to meet energy classes A and A++. I honestly do not know what those energy class requirements entail, nor do I know how they relate to Passive House standards. So, dear readers, if you do know, please feel free to reach out to us! 

From what answers I could find on the all-knowing internet, was that the energy classes are set by the European Union and are applied to not only home energy efficiencies, but also to home appliances.4 Class A means the home (or appliance) is most energy efficient, while Class G is the least energy efficient. The European Union has a similar class rating for CO2 output. If a home falls within class A, it puts out little CO2 during its usage (think operational carbon). If it falls within class G, it puts out a lot of CO2.5 

Net Zero

MADi homes are indeed delivered on-site, net zero ready! A high energy rating according to the European Union, combined with the ability to get solar panels and a battery with your MADi, presents a home prepared to be totally self-sustaining in its energy usage. 

To help be holistically net zero with water consumption, they do offer greywater systems with their homes. 

Small Footprint

Since MADi homes are made with the intention of quick assembly and immediate inhabitation, they are encouraged to be used to temporarily house people displaced by natural disasters or conflict. In temporary cases of residency, the homes are claimed to not need a foundation, and “can be positioned directly onto level ground.”6 This is ingenious as it allows safe sanctuaries to be readily available for when disaster does strike. 

If the home is anticipated to stay in the same location for an extended period of time, MADi offers….drum roll please…

………bum bumdadaaddaddad bum bum…

…a screw pile foundation for their homes!! Like a pin foundation system, the piles are minimally disruptive to the earth. The piles also allow the MADi homes to be moveable~ remove the piles and move your MADi home to the next destination! 

MADi also offers the usage of a concrete foundation. However, I do not believe that they assume the responsibility for its installation. 

Healthy Living

When choosing your MADi home, the consumer has the opportunity to opt for large window usage, or even a balcony…allowing for plenty of natural light to find its way into the home. 

They also offer a home automation kit which turns your MADi home into a smart MADi home…oh la la! The automation kit has the ability to control the home’s lights, heating, and security features. 

In Conclusion…

MADi is pretty neat and inspiring. We love that they have created a foldable, transportable, energy efficient home and put it on the global market. We also admire the fact that these homes can be used to quickly and safely harbor individuals and families fleeing cataclysmic events.

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned as we continue our journey towards building a sustainable, small home!


Shelby Aldrich

1. M.A.Di. “Frequently Asked Questions.” https://madihome.com/faq/. Accessed on 2 June 2020.

2. Garfield, Leanna. “This $33,500 Home Can Resist Earthquakes and Pop Up in Under 7 hours,” Business Insider. 10 Jan. 2018. https://www.businessinsider.com/madi-home-pops-up-in-7-hours-and-can-resist-earthquakes-2018-1?IR=T. Accessed on 2 June 2020.

3. MADi Home. “Flatpack M.A.Di House Pops Up in a Matter of Hours,” 3 Dec. 2019. https://madihome.com/flatpack-m-a-di-house-pops-up-in-a-matter-of-hours/. Accessed on 2 June 2020. 

4.  European Union. “Energy Labels,” 8 April 2020. https://europa.eu/youreurope/business/product-requirements/labels-markings/energy-labels/index_en.htm. Accessed on 2 June 2020.

5.  Electricity Prices. “Energy Efficiency Rating Guide.” https://www.electricityprices.org.uk/energy-efficiency-rating-guide/. Accessed on 2 June 2020.

6. M.A.Di. “Frequently Asked Questions.” https://madihome.com/faq/. Accessed on 2 June 2020.


  1. I mean, you didn’t even talk about the strength of triangles. Would this particular triangular design help meet some of your disaster-proof ideals? Hmm I need to go back and read previous blogs for this train of thought, but free to direct my attention.

    Also, so cool! I wonder how these could be used for people in drought prone areas? That maybe they could move a village if needed? Is there a discussion of how well they actually travel or how many times they can realistically be moved?

    • Hey Aunt Deanna, the triangle is an excellent point! I’m sure it helps them get away with not needing the side-walls to be load bearing. I think where their design really shines in terms of disaster relief, is their ability to “flat-pack” or fold it to a very thin pancake so you can fit many in one shipment. I believe they are still developing and probably have not sold a lot yet, but once they do, that should answer if they can realistically move again.


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© 2020 Sustaining Tree