Particular attention was paid to the choice of local materials requiring little grey energy. For example, the frame wood comes from the Jura, the walls straw from a neighbouring field, the recovered bricks from buildings nearby... We relied on local wood frame techniques (half-timbering) to renovate and expand the existing. Many techniques were used according to the needs : pole-beam and load-bearing lightweight frame sized at the size of the bundles of straw. The stairs were made on site from Douglas fir planks.
We used a combination of several types of insulation as required : - hemp wool for partitions - wood wool for insulation of existing exterior walls - straw for the new walls - cellulose wadding for the roof
For very wet soils, we made floating slabs.
For the domestic hot water production and heating, we made the choice to install a mixed boiler : wood logs/ pellets and solar panels. The boiler heats the 2 activities buildings using the wood of our forest or local wood and leaves us the flexibility of the pellets if we must be away. In offseason for heating and in summer for domestic hot water, sun is enough. This boiler covers the whole hot water needs of the place. To respect the BBC norms, 2 double flow VMC were installed. And we took advantage of the installation of the car park to install a Canadian hydraulic well. We minimise our external resources needs thanks to this system and sun.
We installed a water recovery tank that serves the toilets, washing machines and a part of the garden. It’s supplied from rainwater (gutter* and drain) and from an intermittent source. The overflow is used to feed the natural ecological swimming pool. * We considered the construction obligations related to the clay soil by leaving some of the rainwater infiltrate the soil near the walls. To participate in the natural functioning of the water cycle : - We have installed a plant-based water cleaning systems that treats all wastewater from both buildings. It is collective. The entire water is filtered and purified by plants, then, is rejected by joining the rainwater circuit in the duck pond to complete its cycle. - We have rehabilitated the « fountains », the plateau’s resurgences, to recreate ponds and streams on the whole ground.
We anticipated to have two separate circuits to use solar energy in the future for lighting essentials elements.
We only use LED lights and have been careful on the consumption of electrical equipment. A home automation system allows to control our consumption and to regulate the devices automatically.
We made the choice to opt for an electric car for short drives.
The place is equipped with two reinforced charging outlets (16A) and we are considering, according to demand, to install a fast charging station that will be closely linked to the installation of solar panels.
Selective sorting on the village is voluntary (there is no trash collection). We have set up two collection points on the Ecosite with several bins for the recovery of recyclable waste, compost and the rest. We take advantage of our drives to take them to the collection points. The mown grass around the buildings, after its decomposition, is used in a compost to enrich the garden.
To preserve its equilibrium, we also feed with cuts of trees, branches, pland-based water cleaning systems, and natural pool plants, and with the excrement of hens and equines.
All the interior walls are in fermacell so that it keeps the breathability of the house, while also respecting fire standards. We have used environmentally friendly or low emissivity products for paints, stains, being careful to take microporous paints compatible with the breathability of the building. The facade’s roughcast was made with sand, lime and natural pigments.
Our donkey and our pony maintain the orchard, and the cows of the village farmer another part of the meadows.
We do not use any pesticides, insecticides or product in the garden. Massifs are mulched or covered with a biodegradable burlap cloth.
Stone paths are nicely covered with a small layer of grass and flowers.
About food purchases, we prioritise local products. Honey comes from our apiary, the fruit jams from our orchard, the eggs from our hens. We work : with local organic market gardeners for vegetables, seasonal fruits, meanwhile setting up a market gardening space on the domain with local cheese makers with the farmer village baker who produces his own cereals and flours with the vegan organic handmade ice cream shop
Products to sale: Ice cream, Honey and Jams
To contribute to the maintenance of the biodiversity, you can observe on the Ecosite : insect hotels, nesting boxes, honey flowers, several ponds, a large orchard, a forest, preserved ecological corridors, hedges with different varieties and soon a forest garden