BY: DEXTER BROWN
The Carbon Positive House, as it’s known, was designed to make more energy than it uses, and it drew international attention when it was installed in Melbourne’s City Square earlier this year. It’s expected that the house will emit 1,016 tCO2e less than similar buildings throughout its lifetime, and the company says that’s the equivalent of planting over 6,000 trees or taking 267 cars off the road.
The house design has moved beyond carbon zero by making additional ‘positive’ contributions. It produces more energy on-site than the building requires.
“The Carbon Positive House (CPH) has been created to free us of modern day lifelines and make significant contributions within society,” ArchiBlox says in a brochure. “Developed and created through innovative design sensitivities and new technologies, the CPH has moved beyond carbon zero by making additional ‘positive’ contributions by producing more energy on-site than the building requires.”
According to ArchiBlox, the house features what the company calls “passive design features” like a green roof to keep the house warm when it’s cold out and in-ground tubes to cool the house for those warmer days. The Carbon Positive House even uses sunlight to make energy using solar panels on the green roof.
There are no fans, it’s all just naturally ventilated, cooled and heated
“The whole house has been designed to maximize solar gain. There are no fans, it’s all just naturally ventilated, cooled and heated,” ArchiBlox architect Bill McCorkell told Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald. “We have no mechanical heating and cooling in the home. We’ve got cool tubes to pull in cool air from the earth, which is used to ventilate the house.”
The home has many other unconventional elements such as “hard wired data lines,” which limit electromagnetic radiation. It also has “sliding edible garden walls,” which block sunlight and allow for vegetables to be grown indoors.
So, if you like to connect with nature, the Carbon Positive House could be for you. “Our Carbon Positive Homes will make you feel alive in every sense of the word, reminding oneself of your humble existence with nature,” the company says in a brochure.
ArchiBlox describes the living areas as “awash with sunlight and flush with fresh air”
The Carbon Positive House also features a large sunroom, and ArchiBlox describes the living areas as “awash with sunlight and flush with fresh air.” While many of the traditional elements of the house including the living room, kitchen and bedroom are quite cozy compared to what you’d find in some other homes, some areas around the house can be made bigger and smaller as needed.
ArchiBlox isn’t the only company working on a house that produces more energy than it consumes. Honda (yes, that Honda) and the University of California made headlines last year when they unveiled the Honda Smart Home, which was designed to do just that. According to EcoWatch, the Honda Smart Home is believed to be able to create a surplus of 2.6 megawatt-hours of energy a year and some of that excess energy can be used to charge the house’s accompanying Honda Fit EV.
For more on ArchiBlox’s Carbon Positive House, visit the company’s website.
The Carbon Positive House is predicted to yield environmental benefits equivalent to planting 6,095 native Australian trees
The house is strategically pointed North to capture warm air for insulation in the winter and to keep the house cool in the summer