The construction of Cubity, the worldwide first energy-plus house, is based on the “village-within-a-house” concept, as shared functions predominate when students live together. Cubity is developed by Darmstadt University of Technology. Six two-storey cubes, each composed of two independent living units, are arranged around a central common area, the “marketplace”. In addition to the marketplace, residents have a common cooking area, gallery and terrace. They are adapted to typical student activities.
All the cubes offer an individual place of retreat and focus on private functions, such as sleeping, working and personal hygiene. Duravit products from the Happy D.2 and Darling New series are the ideal complement to Cubity’s young, experimental residential concept. Washbasins and compact WCs allow convenience without taking up too much space. On a floor area of just 7.2 m² the specially designed fitted furniture, which provides a bed, cupboard, table, chair, lighting, electrical supply and storage space, offers the greatest flexibility in a small space.
The upper storey is reached by a single staircase with a gallery offering access to the individual cubes. Each cube also has a private entrance area.
The entire building is structured in several climatic layers. It uses a reversible air-to-water heat pump to heat or cool the interior. The drinking water is preheated by a hot water storage unit. The heat pump is powered primarily by solar panels on the roof. An underfloor heating and cooling system ensures a balanced temperature throughout the year in the marketplace, which is designed as an intermediate climate zone.
After the first presentation at the Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 in Versailles, the energy-plus house will be installed as a living lab on the Lichtwiese campus in Darmstadt where both its energy-related and social aspects will be put to the test. It is scheduled to start operation in the 2014/15 winter semester.