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Prefab tiny home generates more power than it uses

The Archiblox Carbon Positive House is a modular prefabricated home designed to give back to the environment -- by producing more energy than it uses.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
2 min read


Sustainability is the core principle behind the work of Australian prefabricated modular home specialist ArchiBlox, and its Carbon Positive House is the cream of its crop. Rather than carbon-neutrality, the compact home is designed around carbon-positivity. It's equipped with everything it needs to not just break even, but make a positive environmental impact by producing more energy than it needs.

The one-bedroom house -- currently on display in Melbourne, Australia -- is equipped with a number of features to minimise the amount of power it requires while maximising the amount of power it produces.

Power is harvested from photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof. In order to maintain a comfortable interior climate, the roof is also turfed for natural insulation, bolstered by natural Earthwool batting in the ceiling and floor. Meanwhile, in-ground "cool tubes" keep the home cool in summer by ducting air underground, where it is naturally cooled.


The north face of the house -- which collects the most sunlight in the southern hemisphere -- is a sunroom, which collects the warmth from the sun in winter, but keeps the direct sunlight from the main living areas in summer. This room can also be used as a greenhouse for growing food plants; and sliding planters on the exterior side walls of the house can also be used for planting food, while also blocking sun penetration.

Overall, the house represents a CO2 saving of 116 percent. Over its lifespan, that equates to a positive carbon impact equivalent to 6,095 native Australian trees, or 267 cars taken off the road, according to a Life Cycle Assessment conducted on the house, taking into account material manufacture and transport.

The Carbon Positive House is available in four different configurations starting from AU$260,000 (about $204,800 or £132,350). You can find out more and contact the company through the ArchiBlox website.