As global warming increases and fossil energy runs out, a humanist reaction -in Europe and in the world- rises to build differently and advocate a human development in harmony with the Earth.
In architecture, a movement begins to promote buildings that require the least energy both for their elaboration and their occupancy.
What appeared impossible to us a short while ago now seems within our reach: houses (almost) without heating!
The Kyoto Protocol already proposed to go back, by setting as a target for industrial nations a consumption of primary energy by 2010 equal to or lower than in the 1990’s. A necessary shift backward against the global warming.
We must build in a better way, respecting the idea that our ecological footprint should be as low as possible: by heating less, by polluting less.
Yes… but how? Our current projects argue for an energy-saving construction through the use of materials such as wood combined with over-insulation and a bioclimatic approach striving towards houses without heating.
Even a few years ago, heating engineers calculated the needs of heating for houses by taking values of loss of 100 kW/m²/year. Today, studying in detail the position of the building with regards to the sun, the land on which it rests, its insulation, its glass parts, its volume, we find that this value may drop by more than half in houses designed to consume less than their elders. But that’s not all: by analyzing precisely all these factors we find that it is possible to drop down to values of10kW/m²/year of primary energy consumption including heating, cooling and hot sanitary water.
A new horizon opens to us where human activity itself will soon produce the energy needed to heat thanks to a careful consideration of all the settings of housing: appliances, computer, human presence and activity, lighting and its isolation, its materials, the arrangement of rooms, their volumes and parameters of the environment: sun, land, winds. Like the duvet allows hikers to sleep on a glacier at temperatures close to -28°c, we will build sober houses, real warm and cozy comforters for a modern household.