We were inspired to combine Lego block versatility with the elegant simplicity of Edo Period Japanese architecture. Minka houses are based on a column and girder structural system that enables nearly infinite configuration of interior walls.
Minka home parts and modules are pre-fabricated using robotic stock-removal CNC machines, similar to 3D printing, and then shipped and assembled on site in less than a week – with almost no waste.
Each assembled wall and roof panel has an insulated core and zip board exterior to form a fully insulated, weathertight shell. Minka homes are engineer certified and stamped to exceed local, state and international building standards. The interior and exterior of the assembled shell are designed to easily accept all regularly available finishing materials.
We designed a robotic fabrication system called the Minka Printer that is scalable and portable, enabling distributed local manufacturing for large-scale developments. A coordinated network of Minka Printers will generate local labor opportunities during production and assembly.
The first Minka factory is fully-operational and located in Upstate New York. Because the Minka Printers can fabricate 24 hours a day, the components for single-house jobs can be printed from the factory in days and shipped on a single 53′ truck.
Minka Build Process
Rather than hand measured and cut 2×4’s, a Minka home is assembled with our parametric, digitally crafted and precision CNC cut frame, wall and roof components.
The portal frames, each consisting of two columns and a 20′ girder, carry the bulk of the structural load. The columns interface with the foundation using a custom fabricated steel bracket. To minimize the need for heavy equipment, the system is designed for assembly from within the building footprint using integrated mechanical lifts for placing the girders.
Infill Wall Panel and Roof System
Once the Portal Frame is erected and squared, the roof and wall boxes are placed and affixed to the frame structure. The roof and wall boxes are designed to enclose the frame as well as carry some structural load. The boxes are computer-designed to minimize waste and ease of assembly. Wall boxes are delivered with doors and windows pre-flashed and installed. Exterior gaps are taped with Zip Tape and Ice and Water Shield is applied to the roof. In a matter of days, the structure is assembled into a warm shell and is ready for application of conventional finishing materials.
The house is now watertight and ready to be ‘roughed-in’ for HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems. The Minka Utility Wall™ accepts both traditional and smart devices, pre-designed to be arranged in an intentional manner for ease of installation. Convenient, integrated access is afforded so that the dwelling can adapt to new technologies over time. Low-barrier access is available in all models, which allows for function or features to be easily added and/or modified with minimal disruption.
Your New Minka
The house is now ready for interior and exterior finishes and interior furnishings. While the portal frame and box systems are prefabricated from algorithms and robotics, the Minka concept is made to accept most any locally sourced conventional material applications, and to gracefully adapt to regional styles, local covenants and restrictions. At Minka, design matters, and our team can assist with recommendations for ultimate durability – both environmentally sound and stylistically integrated to Minka’s universal design philosophy.