Frequently Asked Questions:
Why are they that shape?
The shape comes from using standard materials efficiently, and accommodating the sorts of things that might happen in a small building. In particular, beds fit in and allow the door to be opened when they’re down. They can easily be lifted up out of the way and clipped against the slope for cleaning; so the space can be used for other things. And cleaned easily.
Do they need foundations?
No. They sit on standard paving slabs bedded on sand/cement. The slabs need to be level which can be achieved by local excavation or building up with suitable material.
Do they need planning permission?
It depends – we can advise but need to know the details. There is a lot of confusion about planning policy & legislation. If planning permission is needed it doesn’t take long or cost much, so is usually worth it. Or we do them at a reduced height so they can be 'permitted development'.
What is their life expectancy?
The form of construction and materials are traditional, tried and tested. The subframe is of modern engineered timber to give a rigid and sturdy base. The cladding and roof sheeting keep the weather where it should be – outside. MorphPODs are designed to last at least 30 years. They have a standard 12 year warranty on materials and workmanship.
Is it noisy inside when it rains?
No, because the roof structure is insulated with mineral wool, and there's a gap of 50mm between it and the sheeting.
Can they be moved about?
Yes, but you’ll need to think it through. We‘ve taken the view that mostly they are static, so don’t need wheels fixed to them all the time. The 2.2 can be lifted with farm jacks (we've got them) and a trailer moved in under it, to move it by road, or about on site. Wheels can be fitted to the front and back of the chassis to allow towing on site. It can also be moved by telescopic forklift. The 3.4 is more cumbersome, and more space is needed to move it. We can advise about all of this.
How are they built?
We use standard and readily available boards and studs to make up structural insulated panels in a workshop. They can be assembled to make a MorphPOD there, elsewhere or on site, depending on the circumstances. The roof structure, door and windows are incorporated, and the cladding and roof sheeting fixed.
How are they delivered to site?
The 2.2 version can be transported on a standard 7’4” trailer, towed by a 4x4. The 3.4 is best assembled on site from pre-fabricated panels. The 2.2 can also be done this way – it allows for locating them in places that are difficult to get large trucks to.
Can I build them myself?
We can deliver the panels and the other bits to you to put together, if you have the necessary skills & tools. The warranty won’t apply in that case, of course, but you’ll do it carefully so you won’t need it…
Can they have woodburners?
Yes. But. They get hot, and in a small space that can be a problem. Also, even the smallest can make a small space too hot quite quickly. We think the answer is to have a stove within a recess in the wall, so it can be used both sides - in the MorphPOD and on the veranda. It could do cooking and hot water as well as heating. We're working on that, but in the meantime we can accommodate what you want, as long as its safe.
Can I see a specification?
Specifications for both models are here.
How do I order one?
You only need to establish what size you want and what end the door will go to place an order. This is done on a form which shows the costs of the standard bits and options. You can follow on with your selected options afterwards. This means production can start as soon as possible. We ask for a deposit of 40% of the basic box at order, with stage payments thereafter, depending on the schedule.
Are they OK for people in wheelchairs?
Yes. The standard door is 2’9” (838mm) which works for wheelchairs. A level threshold detail is available. In addition, grab rails can be securely fixed to the structure in various positions. The approach to the MorphPOD needs to be carefully considered of course.
Can they be adapted after installation?
Yes. Although hopefully not for a while, because it’s easier to have it right first time. But they are designed to allow for alterations to easily be made over their long lives. We can do that, or you can do it yourself - they come complete with a set of detailed drawings so you can see how they are put together. We will extend our range of options as time goes on, so it’s a good idea to contact us about your plans anyway.
Can the window be opened?
Not as standard. A tall window gives good daylight and views, and a hinged opening that size would require extra structure and have less area of glass. Having just the upper part openable would add costs which we think disproportionate. The stable door is fitted with a cabin hook to allow the top part to be held slightly open for medium ventilation, or the opening it in can be an opening window instead of the standard fixed glazing.
Can the door be at the front?
Yes. The standard window of the 3.4 is purposely the same as a standard commercially available hardwood French window, but extra structure is required. The single window to the 2.2 can be a door, but might need to be purpose-made. We can quote for these as options.
What about electrics and plumbing?
Fixed service runs to/from the MorphPOD will need to be properly trenched, but where they enter is flexible. Distribution can be via conduits within the wall panels or surface mounted.
What about solar?
Small power can be provided by a photovoltaic (PV) panel. It can be on the roof if the orientation is right, otherwise fixed to the side wall or free-standing. The associated kit can be put at high level on the veranda. Solar-thermal water heating is simple and efficient. We are looking at making use of the roof sheeting to run the pipework along, in the meantime standard panels are available.
Can they have showers & toilets?
Yes. They can be integral with the standard MorphPOD 3.4. You can see an example here. 2.2 isn’t really big enough to be anything else if you have ‘amenities’ in it, but you can have a self-contained unit, maybe at the other end of the veranda. Composting toilets work well, and there a few types available. We can advise you about that.
Can they be taken apart and re-assembled?
Yes. But it has to be done carefully. All the bits are marked and can be identified against the drawings, so things go back in the right order (and place).