Australian architect unveils carbon-positive prefab house

Australian architect ArchiBlox has unveiled a prototype of a house design that can produce more energy than it uses over its lifespan.  

The prefabricated home has "sliding edible garden walls", a sunroom and an insulating grass roof on top of its single storey. The prototype is currently installed in Melbourne’s City Square.

According to the architect, the house, pictured above, generates environmental benefits equivalent to those of 6,000 native Australian trees.  

A double-glazed sunroom spans the width of the structure and is designed to face north. This  acts as the "lungs" of the house and creates a pocket of warm air to insulate it in the winter.

"Cool tubes" under the ground help to ventilate the property, taking air in from the floor in the south of the house and emitting it from the north-facing windows. 

Living spaces are compact with an open-plan dining area and a kitchen on one side, and a bathroom and bedroom on the other. 

The house also recycles rainwater and creates solar energy with rooftop photovoltaic panels.

ArchiBlox, a modular building specialist, says its homes will give its clients "the opportunity to rid themselves of modern day lifelines in a house that has been developed through a collaboration of design sensitivities and new technologies with like-minded companies". 

All images from ArchiBlox

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  1. Interested if this design could be extended to School / Classroom buildings in the UK?

    Also interested in further details to understand the features of the building.

  2. An interesting concept and attractively presented but the environmental benefit claim would be more objectively useful and convincing if some metrics were put to the claim; we need some standards to measure and present energy inputs (and carbon release) in construction, the balance of energy inputs and outputs in use over a reasonable ‘lifespan’ (including periodic maintenance and repair and the energy and carbon ‘load’ in disposal/recycling. To simply suggest this ‘equates’ to 6000 trees is meaningless. 6000 trees also provide space and opportunity for diverse wildlife habitate, substantial oxygen generation as well as ground water replenishment etc etc

  3. The housing market in the UK is incredibly conservative. Hence our Georgian based designs complete with front porches, built in garages and rear conservatories. The prototype box while wholly functional in my view lacks elegance and private purchaser appeal.

    The higher temperatures and blue skies of Australia give solar heating and air temperature cross draught transference better results than would be obtainable in the temperate zones of Europe. To be positive, I see this as work in progress rather than the finished article.

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