The Cube Project: What Would You Give Up To Live In A Tiny House?
Ilyce Glink

Who among us has never looked at their overstuffed closet in despair? If you feel like you are constantly running out of storage room in your home, check out the Cube Project and imagine your life on a smaller, more efficient scale.

The Cube is a 3x3x3 meter house, built by Dr. Mike Page at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, with enough space for one person (and not very much stuff) to live and make a minimal environmental impact. Constructed from a variety of sustainable materials, it includes a lounge, with a table and two custom-made chairs; a small almost-double bed; a full-size shower; a kitchenette 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. It also has ultra-efficient LED lights, and it is heated using an Ecodan air-source heat pump, which recovers heat from extracted air.

At first blush, it sincerely does not look like enough space. There is very little storage, the stairs are staggered so they have to be taken left foot first, and the toilet is a little disturbing. But it is a marvel of design; everything fits together in just enough space, with a minimalist appearance and clean lines.

The thing that sets the Cube apart from other tiny houses is that it is designed to generate at least as much energy as it uses, averaged over the year. Considering the average UK household spends £1,542 (approximately ,500) every month on utility bills, a house that makes as much or more energy than it uses is a huge money saver. The Cube makes the energy with solar photovoltaic panels that are integral to the building itself. It requires a grid connection to feed energy back to the grid and a water source, but it needs no sewer connection. Waste is either composted or processed on site in a small reed bed and soakaway.

So, what would you take with you to live in your 3x3x3 house? What would you give up?

All photos from the Cube Project.


Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate atThinkGlink.com and at the Home Equity blog for CBS MoneyWatch.

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