Masterplan / Research / Enercube
1.6 Billion people around the world live in inadequate housing conditions and as a result struggle with illness, insufficient education and crime. Despite the positive impact of micro-finance, the number of people in substandard housing is increasing because of demographics trends such as continued urbanization and growing wealth disparity. If these trends are not managed, the United Nations projects the number will grow to 3 billion - 40 percent of the total population - by 2030. In order to make a meaningful impact on the global issue of inadequate housing, new and disruptive business concepts are needed.
In this research study, we aim to develop a prefabricated housing concept, named ENERCUBE, which combines innovative architecture and energy generation through the integration of solar panels. We want to bring contemporary design – an aspect that is typically ignored - to affordable housing in order to provide an improved living environment for families up to five people. Due to its modular construction, ENERCUBE is low cost and can be assembled fast by unskilled labor. Effectively, our concept innovates along two dimensions: it reinvents the design of housing units for the underprivileged and transforms the business model for affordable housing through solar energy production.
The central hypothesis of this study is to test if combining innovative architecture with solar energy production into a single housing unit is a bold and scalable solution that can make a meaningful impact on the global issue of affordable housing.