The Cube Project is an initiative of Dr Mike Page at the University of Hertfordshire who set out to build a compact home, no bigger than 3x3x3 metres on the inside, in which one person could live a comfortable, modern existence with a minimum impact on the environment.
Constructed from a variety of sustainable materials, the Cube provides everything that a single person (or two friendly people) might need. Within its 27 cubic metres it includes a lounge, with a table and two custom-made chairs, a small double bed (120cm wide), a full-size shower, a kitchen (with energy-efficient fridge, induction hob, re-circulating cooker hood, sink/drainer, combination microwave oven and storage cupboards), a washing machine, and a composting toilet. Lighting is achieved by ultra-efficient LED lights, and the Cube is heated using an Ecodan air-source heat pump, with heat being recovered from extracted air. It has cork flooring and there is two-metre head height throughout.
Here is a tour of the interior, filmed by Allan MacDonald at the Edinburgh International Science Festival
and a 360 degree panorama of the interior is available here.
It was an important design criterion that none of the techniques or technologies used in the Cube would be solely applicable to small buildings. When scaled up appropriately, everything we used could equally well be applied in homes and businesses of all shapes and sizes. The Cube illustrates what we believe to be the best of low-carbon living.
The Cube is designed to generate at least as much energy as it uses, averaged over the year. It does this by using solar photovoltaic panels that are integral to the building itself. If registered with the UK Government’s Feed-In Tariff (FiT – an incentive for producing energy from renewable sources), the Cube will raise around £1000 per year in FiT income. The only connections it requires are a connection to the electrical grid, and a cold-water supply. No mains drainage is required: waste is either composted, or processed on site by a small reed-bed and soak-away.
Conceived, designed and managed by Dr Mike Page, engineer and Reader in Cognitive Psychology at the University’s School of Psychology, the first prototype, QB1, was unveiled on April 9th, 2011 in St Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival.
On this website, you can find details of the Cube’s design, of the technologies that underlie its environmental performance, and of the sponsors who have helped us achieve our aims. You will also be able to see HD photos and film of the construction process, the transport of the Cube from Hertfordshire to Edinburgh, and its installation in St. Andrew’s Square.
We hope that you enjoy finding out about the Cube Project and that you are inspired to do something similar.