DesignPuzzle Pieces

Low carbon homes

Nowadays European regulation has to move from a thermal regulation to  an environmental regulation, to succeed regulation has to take into account carbon emissions in construction sector.

The French answer to this trend is the E+C- experiment: positive energy and low carbon emission.

In 2017 France launched a national call for project to learn how to deal with carbon in construction projects, because different players in building sector had never care about carbon problem until now. Every social housing company which engaged this experimental process were financially supported.

There are four different energy levels with different standards, E4 is the higher level, and two levels of greenhouse gas emission. It’s very difficult to pass from level 1 to level 2 because concrete construction can difficulty reach low carbon level; terracotta can easily reach high level and also wooden construction are better in carbon emissions. The E+C- regulation represent a real innovation in the French construction industry and it will allow social housing companies to learn best practice to better anticipate the future.

Vosgelis applied to this experiment with an innovative and environmental project in Vittel: the project includes 7 individual dwellings and 4 collective dwellings. They achieved level E3C2 for collective building and E3C1 for individual houses. The buildings were entirely built in wood, all the ,material used have been chosen to have the lowest impact on carbon consumption from their birth up to 50 years later and during their recycling. The construction site of Vittel is a wood and energy operation: heating and domestic hot water are produced using wood pellets. They use a declaration for materials and structures used in the construction and they take into account environmental and maintenance problems. Concrete and wood are both used, because concrete has a good inertia, the insulating layer is made of mineral wool with low carbon emission, not plastic. The roof is made with terracotta tiles and also for floor covering they choose parquet or linoleum, not pvc. Only windows are still in pvc.

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