The MPOD – A Modular, Efficient Living Pod

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Last month I announced that I would be releasing a new modular design – the MPOD. I was originally hoping to reveal the MPOD at the end of last month but “best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men…” The MPOD is a modular structure meaning its can be combined, separated and replicated. The modular nature of the pod allows people to have more control over the type of home or space they would like to create (demonstrated by the slideshow below).

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The MPOD can be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled. You can add an extension, a second story, change the roof pitch, add a decking area, and more. All variations and “add-on’s” are based around the original MPOD Core. This allows me to introduce new options for less work, as I can refer back to the core module for specific details. The big advantage of this, for you, is reduced cost. The main MPOD Core plans will cost $137 (it’s on sale today for $77) and the add-on’s can be purchased for as little as $13.

CURRENT ADD-ON PLANS

At the moment there are two add-on plans available – the decking plans and the EPOD extension plans. In the future plans for a second story, roof pitch variations, and different foundation types will be available. I’m also considering producing a document which will outline the necessary changes to the original structure to make it function as a passive house (although it’s currently a very efficient design).

MORE DETAILS

I decided to go back to the drawing board with this design. While the current Advanced Framing Techniques for houses are pretty good, there are a number of issues concerning efficiency that can be addressed. For example, the number of cold bridges in a house built with Advanced Framing techniques will (usually) be 8. The framing structure of the MPOD has 3 areas of cold bridging, each of which is mitigated by a specific arrangement of insulation. So, the MPOD’s super efficient and therefore cost effective.

In terms of R-values, the floor is rated to R30, and the walls and roof are R40. The structure is also “sealed” in the same way a passive house is. Its unique insulation details mean you don’t have to cut into the internal membrane for items like sockets, helping it to achieve a very low air permeability.

QUICK SPEC’S

Area Dimensions Area Dimensions
Footprint 10′ x 10′ Living Area 103 SF
Roof High Point 13′-5″ Width @ Eaves 13′-2″
Ceiling High Point 11′-2″ Ceiling Low Point 8′-4″

PLANS

MPOD CORE PLANS

The MPOD Core plans contain details for the construction of the pod, how to combine the units. The plans are currently ON SALE FOR $77. Plans will cost $139 from next month onwards.
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  • Residential license
  • Details for insulated block foundation
  • Annotated exterior elevations
  • Construction Framing Plans
  • Cross-sections
  • Details for Timber Cuts
  • Framing Construction Overview
  • Details for Doubling MPOD – On Side
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  • Details for Doubling MPOD – On End
  • Details for Tripling MPOD
  • Example Floor Plans
  • Nailing schedule
  • Timber Cut List & Sheathing List
  • Minimum Timber Grades
  • Construction notes, hints and tips
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EPOD PLANS

These plans contain the details for a 6 foot extension to the MPOD Core.
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  • Details for insulated block foundation
  • Annotated exterior elevations
  • Construction framing plans
  • Framing construction overview
  • Example floor plans
  • Timber cut list & sheathing list
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MPOD DECKING PLANS

These plans contain details of different decking layouts suitable for the MPOD and its various arrangements.
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  • Details for porch foundation
  • Construction plans for 5 porch layouts
  • Cross section details
  • Examples of porch arrangements
  • Details for fastening porch to MPOD
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PURCHASE PLANS

If you’d like to purchase a set of plans, you can do so using the buttons below. Plans will be downloaded to you computer and are in PDF format. Please read our Terms & Conditions before purchase.
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MPOD CORE PLANS

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Add to Cart $139


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EPOD PLANS

3

Add to Cart $17

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MPOD DECKING PLANS

2

Add to Cart $13

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YOUR INPUT

That about wraps up the MPOD. If you have any questions concerning the plans or the pod in general, feel free to leave a comment below, or you can contact us directly. Also, if you have an add-on in mind that you would like to see developed, let us know and if it’s feasible, we’ll create it.

16 Comments

  1. I’m wondering if you have considered a variation with the roof slant reversed relative to the window wall. An owner with a location with a great view on the sunward side of the potential house might want to put PV panels on the roof facing the same side as the deck. The upper windows could face the shadow side of the house but it looks like the wall height in front might need to be increased since the overhang appears to come down quite far and might not clear the top of the head of a person coming out the door.

    Hope this makes sense…

  2. Hi. I’ve just bought the plans, I really like the openness of this approach over other tiny house designs I’ve looked at. I’d like to second the thought about roof pitch. Solar will be an important part of the off grid mix in my future build, and the flexibility to orientate the roof to work with that, without compromising a view if that also happens to lie southward would be very useful. For the same reason, the possibility of steeper roof pitches to make the most of low winter sun in Northern latitudes would also be worthy of consideration. Looking forward to seeing the variants you have planned!

  3. Hey Tanya & Barb! Thanks for the input. I was considering a alternative roof pitch somewhere between 25-35 degrees, so you’ve just cemented that option! Solar panels mounted on a roof that’s between 15 – 45 degrees will typically only see a reduction of 2-4% in terms of efficiency if your roof is not at the ideal angle. Even if your roof is, the variance over the course of the year (summer to winter) will also lead to some inefficiencies. If you want to go for a really effective solar panel set up, perhaps you should consider PV panels that will allow you to adjust their angle. The currently MPOD details would actually be fine – the roof overhang shouldn’t interfere with head height. If you were 6′ tall you’d be over 1.5′ below the eaves at their lowest point. And so you could simply swap the back wall details with the front wall details! :)

  4. Hi Niall – these look brilliant, and perfect for a tiny modular holiday house we’re looking at building on an island just off the coast of Auckland NZ!

    Dare I ask: are the plans entirely in US customary units, or are they available in metric as well for those of us outside the USA, Liberia, or Burma? Or shall I get my calculator out?

    • Hey Andrew, I could convert the units to metric to the nearest mm (unless you required more accuracy!). Unfortunately I don’t have the time right now to redesign the plans for materials sized and based solely on the metric system. Feel free to drop me an email any time :).

  5. Russ Towers on

    The whole concept is really brilliant. I have hopes on building a retirement home in Northern Manitoba, Canada really soon. With this design I can build what I need in the immediate and expand as time and money allow. I have noticed that none of the layout sketches have a bathroom in them, I trust that this is not because there would be any problems putting one in.

    Would it be possible to build these units on a Pier and Post foundation..

    Once again really great concept.

    Russ T.

  6. Hey Russ – You can indeed include a bathroom! It would be best to include the plumbing for the hot and cold water pipes within the interior insulation section so as to minimise any openings through sealed vapor barrier. I think I already got back to you through email about the pier and posts, but just in case you miss it, I see no problem with the foundation but be sure to check in with your local building regulations for advice and guidance regarding it’s exact design. :)

  7. Adina Hirschmann on

    Also needs a kitchen. You could probably branch off the same plumbing as the bathroom. A skylight with built-in blinds or shade would add more natural lighting over the kitchen or living area.

  8. Do these plans come with a registered architects seal? Our building department requires 2 sets. Also is the living room 120 square feet? And where would one insert the kitchen and bathroom details, since these plans do not seem to have this included.

    • Hi Renate, the plans don’t come with a registered architect’s seal because 1) I’m not an architect, but a structural engineer, and 2) the plans can be purchased from any country in the world. That said, the MPOD was developed using a mix of modern Swedish practices and advanced framing codes to ensure it’s a stable, air-tight, super-insulated structure. The plans are intended to be used to aid in the creation of a home, or other structure (hence it’s modular form) – the exact arrangement of the kitchen and bathroom is up to the owner. A single unit has an exterior footprint of about 120 square feet. The internal space, after taking the wall depth into account, is around 77 square feet. The plans themselves are downloadable and come in PDF format, so you can print them off. I hope this helps! :)

    • Hi Garth, it’s hard to say as costs can vary so much between countries, and counties, but we’ve put a conservative estimate on it of $10,000 for a high-spec finish. However, depending on where you live and your intended use, you may decide to forgo some of the insulation layers (there are three in total), which can amount to a significant saving.

  9. Thubten Saldon on

    I was wondering about the same question as above, would that $10.000 estimate be for a single pod? Any estimate for the US on sf. constriuction price? Thank you (-:

    • Hi Thubten – Yes, that would be for a single pod. At the scale of a single pod about $100/sf (for a self-build), but if you were to build a larger dwelling the cost per square foot will reduce as the economies of scale start to come into play.

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