What is an “ecological house”?
An ecological house is a healthy house, which does not generate energy waste, even which is autonomous and which fits into its environment (respect for nature, the landscape). It is also a house whose occupants live in an eco-responsible way: travel with a low carbon footprint, eco-responsible consumption… All of this comes into play.
There are several types of ecological houses.
A BBC house , low consumption, emits few greenhouse gases (65 kWh/m² in the coldest regions and 40 kWh/m² in the hottest regions of the South-East).
A passive house produces 90% of the heating needs of its inhabitants and its energy needs do not exceed 50 kWh/m² per year.
A positive house produces more energy than its occupants consume.
Choose your eco-construction project carefully according to your aspirations, needs and budget.
What to do before starting your eco-construction
The first thing to do before building your ecological habitat is to determine your project precisely .. Answer the following questions in as much detail as possible: How many square meters do you need? What size for each piece? Which parts ? What layout? What level of energy performance? What will you do yourself? With which professionals (architect, project manager, craftsmen, etc.) do you wish to work, if applicable? This step is essential to determine the budget allocated to your house construction. For each of your decisions, remember to find the right balance for you between savings on purchase, energy performance and energy expenditure (use of natural resources, etc.). If you realize that your initial project is not within your budget, then review the project: reduce the area for example… Take the time to draw up your list!
Mandatory step: set a precise budget for the construction of your ecological habitat. To do this, count your savings and contact your bank. Also contact other banks, brokers. Compare. Don’t forget that you can insure your loan with an insurer that is not the bank from which you are borrowing. In short, find the best loan (if any) for your green home construction project. When you decide on your total expenses (land, materials, professionals, etc.), remember to keep an amount of “emergency” money in an account. You can draw from it if a setback requires a small financial extension during your construction site, for example. In order to best determine your budget, also think about aidwhich you can claim. Find out more from your bank or on the website of the Government, your region and your department.
You will of course have to find the location to install your ecological house . Look for land according to your needs and desires: city, countryside, close to schools, transport, nothing at all… When you visit the land, find out about its characteristics: sanitation, type of soil, building surface, exposure bad weather, planned surrounding constructions, PLU (local urban plan, available at the town hall)… Take into account and determine the bioclimatic map of the land: sunshine, shadows from the walls or surrounding trees… These elements are very important in the construction of a bioclimatic house .
You have arrived at the plan stage . The ideas are determined, the ground is found, the budget is fixed. Now make the precise plan of your future ecological house. The help of an architect may prove useful at this stage. There is also software that will allow you to design your own plans.
Choose the materials you will need for your eco-construction . There are more and more choices in green building. And your own choices will be guided by your tastes but also your budget and your ecological requirements. Wood frame ? Straw insulation? Wooden windows and doors? Compare prices, suppliers, choose healthy products, made in France. You will also have to choose the materials for the finishes ( ecological paints , ecological flooring…). And the equipment: heating (electric, wood…), ventilation, hot water production, energy production (photovoltaic panels, wind turbine…). Again, you will need to compare the prices, suppliers and environmental qualities of each solution. At this point, an architect can advise you.
The project defined precisely, here are the stages of the administrative procedures . In particular, you must file the building permit with your town hall before starting the work. You will have documents to provide and will have to wait a little bit…
The construction of the ecological habitat itself
First step: terracing the land . Level the ground if necessary and plan an access path from the entrance to your future ecological habitat.
It is the turn of the frame of the house and the framework. It is therefore necessary to lay the framework of the walls, the framework which supports the roof and then the covering of the roof (tiles, slates).
Now move on to the insulation step . Important for the comfort in your home, even more in an eco-construction of course. Straw, lime, clay, hemp… You have chosen your materials in the previous steps, all you have to do is install your insulation.