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How to approach the construction of an ecological house in the South-West?

build an eco-friendly house

Table of contents

If eco-construction is very fashionable, it is essential to choose a professional builder for any ecological house project. Because there are many aspects to take into account: environmental standards, materials used, implementation of alternative systems for the production of renewable energies... Building an ecological house in the Southwest is a fairly obvious choice, given the climatic conditions, among others. And Maisons SIC will be able to accompany you in this great real estate adventure. 

What is an ecological house? 

ecological house definition

The definition of a ecological house may vary between manufacturers but, for the general public, it is a house that respects its environment both through its construction and its day-to-day mode of operation. In terms of construction and design, the ecological house has become more than a trend or a fad. It's a real movement, like, for example, the magazine The Ecological House, entirely devoted to eco-construction.  

Even before moving on to the construction stage, the ecological house is designed to be the most efficient possible in terms of energy : orientation according to the terrain, the climate, exposure to the sun, to the winds… The goal? Always maximize its energy efficiency. 

For this, at the level of construction, the ecological house therefore favors natural and recyclable materials in order to have almost no carbon impact and to optimize the natural insulation. We are thinking, for example, of the use of plant insulation (straw, wool, fabric, etc.), ecological paints, floor coverings guaranteed without chemical additives or pollutant emissions and for the roof, materials such as slate. , clay tiles or thatch.


The wooden frame house: a naturally ecological construction

wood construction ecological house

Because the materials of an ecological house are necessarily natural, wood takes pride of place. As we explained to you in our article on the advantages of building a wooden house, choosing wood for the construction of your new house is an ecological decision in many respects: 

  • Wood construction has a low environmental impact because wood has a low carbon footprint. 
  • Wood has great insulating power. 
  • Wood is also a “cleaner” material on construction sites, with all waste and residues being recyclable. 
  • If we pay attention to the origin of the wood, the choice is very ecological, as we do at SIC houses for the houses of our line of wooden houses by choosing European wood and classified according to standard NF B 52-001. 


What is the difference between the different ecological houses (passive, BBC, positive, bioclimatic, etc.)? 

passive ecological house builder

There are several categories of constructions within the large family of ecological houses. 

BBC houses (Low Consumption Building) correspond to a label which sets a maximum limit (50 kWh per m2) for the energy consumption of new buildings for 5 main uses: heating, lighting, hot water production, ventilation and air conditioning.

Passive houses, often referred to as “homes without heating”, advocate the unique use of natural resources to maximize energy savings. Concretely, this low consumption construction is based on the contribution of the “passive” heat of the sun, the reinforcement of the thermal insulation and on an unfailing airtightness. 

positive houses promote the production of their own green energy (heating sources, hot water, etc.) via photovoltaic panels, solar panels, heat pumps, etc. And also thanks to optimized insulation. 

Bioclimatic houses use the climate and environment where the house is located to get the most out of it. 


The standards of building an ecological house

While there is no single “ecological house” label, nor exact regulations or specifications for building a perfectly eco-responsible house, French building standards tend towards ever more eco-construction. There are a few labels that can be applied for when building an ecological house: NF Habitat High Energy Performance (HPE) & Very High Energy Performance, the Low Consumption Building (BBC+) label or the Passivhaus label for a passive house. .

After the BBC label (granted to houses consuming less than 50 kWh per m2 for their energy), the RT 2012 which we told you about in nour article on “RT 2012: What implications for the construction of my house in the South-West?”, the pattern became the norm. From now on, all housing built since 2021 must meet this energy threshold.


The bioclimatic design of low-consumption houses then imposes, among other things: 

– High performance insulation

– An airtight house

– Minimal glazed surface

– The use of renewable energies


Better still, RT 2020 will require housing to consume four times less energy for heating (12 kWh/m2 maximum). SIC Houses, your builder of single-family homes for almost 50 years, have already anticipated this next thermal regulation and offer to accompany you in all your new constructions of ecological houses. 


Equipment for an ecological house

ecological house energy

An ecological house is reflected in terms of construction (in particular by choosing materials of natural origin, recyclable, not producing polluting energy and, if possible, produced locally) but also of equipment in different areas: 

Energy production : producing your own electricity is a matter of course in an ecological house. We can then install photovoltaic, solar, aerovoltaic panels, a wind turbine or choose to use a cogeneration boiler. 

Heating : the air-water heat pump is the most used equipment to produce heat and domestic hot water by capturing clean and renewable energy (that of air, water or earth) and transforming it into thermal energy.

Ventilation : to constantly renew the ambient air, good ventilation such as a double flow VMC limits energy and heat loss. 

Water : if it is important to think about saving water through devices such as regulator-saving nozzles, economical shower heads or two-speed flushes, it is also advisable to set up a system rainwater harvesting. We can also install dry toilets, which do not use drinking water. 

Lighting : we especially favor LED bulbs which have the longest life and the lowest energy consumption. 

household appliances : an ecological house is a global approach. Which also involves, on a day-to-day basis, preferably choosing household appliances with at least energy class A+, which guarantee optimal energy consumption.


The advantages of having an ecological house built in the South West

If Maisons SIC has been constructing individual houses in the South-West for more than 50 years, we apply our know-how throughout France. However, our experience of the Southwest allows us to affirm that this region is particularly conducive to the construction of ecological houses. 

Indeed, it is particularly easy to take advantage of solar gain in the South-West. Low-energy houses are then oriented so that the sun's rays enter the house in winter. The Southwest being a sunny region for a good part of the year, it is then easy to take advantage of these free calories. Large high-performance bay windows, facing south, are a real asset in winter.

Do you want to be accompanied by a builder experienced in ecological houses? Contact us!


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