Minimods Are Modern Tiny Homes for the Environmentally Conscious

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The South American firm MAPA Architects recently unveiled the first of its Minimod (which is short for Minimal Modular) tiny homes, which can be used for a variety of purposes, from a tiny vacation home, to a hotel. In other words, these modular units are incredibly adaptable and can be assembled together to form a dwelling of any size. The separate units resemble shipping containers at first glance, but that is not what the company is using to construct them.

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A single Minimod measures 290 square feet (27 square meters) and is made up of four living spaces, namely a bedroom, a kitchen/living/dining area, and a bathroom. It features a lightweight steel frame, which holds up the plywood and glass, the two materials, which comprise the walls of this structure. Any feeling of claustrophobia that might arise from living in such a small dwelling is erased by the large windows, which take up about three quarters of this home. These also serve the function of offering great ventilation, which is aided by the units’ partly-ventilated façade. To prevent moisture and mold from getting in, the home is raised on stilts.

The project is still in the development stage, but the homes should hit the market soon. A single unit will cost about $27,000 ($1,000 per square meter), which does not include foundation work, plumbing or electrical wiring. Once ordered, a Minimod will be prefabricated in a factory, which takes about 45 days, then transferred to the building site via truck and assembled. Future owners will be able to choose between the pre-designed version, or request a custom layout. Air-conditioning, a wardrobe, a small fridge and an oven are included in the base price, as is all the LED lighting.

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Each Minimod can also be taken off-the-grid by fitting it with solar panels, and a composting toilet, which are both optional upgrades. Minimods can be also fitted with a green roof, and come with a tank for the filtration and reuse of rainwater.


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