Having been concerned for a long time about carbon footprint issue, I wished this place to be environment friendly as well as trying to satisfy the sustainable development agenda.
In order to ensure this quality we had to adopt sophisticated new building technologies while, at the same time, we wanted to keep the historical elements of the architecture.

  • Preserving the architectural spirit of this period. (early to middle 20th century)
  • high quality insulation
  • Hot water provided by solar power
  • Green electricity
  • Recovery of rain water
  • Building with environment- friendly materials
  • Use of bicycle and organic food

In order to qualify for the environment- friendly official label of ‘Gites de France’, six important elements had to be included and certified :

  1. Integration of the lodging with the surroundings keeping the historical features but incorporating s modern technics, this house, despite being situated within a densely populated area, still matches with the ‘guinguette ‘ style of the Marne river
  2. Use of local and environment- friendly material . Thermal and accoustic insulation is made of hemp and paints(*) and glues have been carefully selected according to strict environment friendly criteria. Most of our vegetables are picked from our organic garden.
  3. Reducing the quantity of energy and use of recyclable energies.
    Hot water is produced through solar panels. The heating device is a brand new one with the following features : Reinforced insulation, low- energy thermal devices, and Class- A electrical appliances
    We only use low- energy bulbs and our electricity is garanteed non nuclear (ENERCOOP)
    There are no mechanical vents VMC- type (since they are energy-hungry devices)
  4. Reducing water consumption.
  5. The water used for toilets flushing is issued from a water tank filled only with rain water. Each tap is fitted with a water- reducer device.
  6. Waste management. A selective collection is organised by the town council , this include glass, cartons and pastics and vegetable waste. To add to this selection, we recycle our vegetable waste in compost and we use wood in our fire place. No chemical product is used for outside spaces and we only use hand- driven mechanical machines.
  7. Feedback Contract of commitment between the user and the lodger.
  8. Through a website as well as through everyday contact with various people, we hope to help promoting and discussing environmental issues and solutions.
  9. Some other projects are already on the move.
  • Setting a wind turbine on the roof
  • Heating recovery with a chimney device.
  • Thermic insulation of some non-decorative outside elements

(*) One such area of bridge building is the world of bio composites and in particular the development of lime hemp as a bio composites material, which has serious ecological and energy credentials, and is attracting interest from both wings of the environmental movement, not only those concerned about toxicity, embodied energy and so on. but and also those interested in U values and thermal performance. Indeed lime hemp’s carbon sequestration capability should be music to the ears of any ‘energy enthusiast’ as carbon reduction is often a prime driver of the energy lobby.

However it is not just the excellent environmental credentials of this material that are of interest, but also its versatility and potential to integrate into current building systems and solutions. It is this potential to mainstream that is most significant and could multiply the positive environmental benefits exponentially.