This carbon neutral Cube House developed by the University of Hertfordshire, England is a little house with some big ideas. Measuring a scant 3x3x3 meters, the home is a three-dimensional puzzle that packs a unique living space with off-the-shelf technology to create a micro footprint. The home’s advanced features keep energy consumption to a minimum, making the small roof-top solar array large enough to feed the grid more energy that the home consumes. The home is more than just an experiment in design however -- Dr. Mike Page, the coordinator of the Cube House is very much interested in learning the physiological implications of high-quality, low-impact micro housing.
The design is very simple on the outside, but the interior is another story. The ingenious layout manages to fit a full range of amenities within a shrunken floor plan. Three levels stack the living spaces upwards and provide storage for personal items and equipment. The heart of the floor plan is a very interesting alternating tread system, which saves space and allows access to the floors above with a minimalist design flair.
The lower portion contains a seating arrangement and table that can slide back and forth for lounging or dining. A generous kitchen is located a few steps up. Low-energy and space-saving appliances like an inductive stovetop, a super-efficient refrigerator and a combination oven and microwave don’t skimp of the opportunities to cook up a storm. Water and the space are heated with an efficient air-to-air split-system heat pump.
A full-sized shower and composting toilet are located across from the kitchen. The funky-looking pedestal in the middle is actually a step up to the nearly queen-sized bed set above the living room.
The interior is finished with FSC-certified birch plywood, and English Sweet Chestnut clads the cubed exterior. The structure also incorporates a range of other green materials — cork flooring, wool fabric, sustainable wood, and triple-paned windows.
The building is capped with a shed roof and a 1.48 kW solar array which, although modest in size, still makes enough energy to sell back to the grid. In fact, the system will gets 1,000 pounds back each year for 20 years as part of Britain’s feedback tariff program.
As a professor in Psychology, Dr. Page studies “deal(ing) with problems that are as much psychological problems as they are technological problems… if we are to mitigate the problems of climate change.”
Via Daily Mail