Zero-energy DIY house showcases sustainable design

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While many homeowners are attracted to the idea of reducing their carbon footprint and decreasing their energy consumption, for most, this is restricted to minor changes in behavior. More substantial structural changes are often too expensive to implement, or require a level of technical expertise beyond what the homeowner is capable of. However, hoping to rectify this and bring affordable sustainable living to everyone, we recently came across the E-Cube — a self-assembled sustainable dwelling.

The E-Cube — conceived and developed at Ghent University, Belgium — has the principal aim of creating “an affordable zero energy house” — bringing a DIY aspect to home-building whilst being simultaneously energy neutral. In their own words, the “E-cube” is a “do-it- yourself building kit for a solar-powered house that is pre-engineered, factory-built, and easily assembled without special skills.” The house is constructed from an initial starter unit, which can then be enhanced and personalized according to an individual’s taste, time and budget, while the simplicity of the design enables home owners to build houses much like a flat pack piece of furniture. According to the company’s website, the “E-cube” is designed with five key principles in mind — human energy, passive house standard, phasing, plug and play, and structural flexibility. The result is a house that can be built using human energy,  that can be heated without a conventional heating system, that can be built in stages, that requires no technical background or specialist skills to build and maintain, and that is flexible enough to be adapted in form and decoration.

We’re seeing more and more efforts to make sustainable living an easy and affordable option. Indeed, in the case of the Carbon Lottery, participants seeking to offset their carbon footprint could actually end up EUR 4 million better off. For those consumers looking to take more drastic eco-conscious action, the E-Cube offers a showcase of sustainable building design. One to be inspired by!

Website: http://www.solardecathlon.ugent.be

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