|North Elevation (inhabitat.com)|
Aesthetically the structure is an abstract replica of a traditional house which drew inspiration old barns which would be quite common in the part of France in which it is situated. The entire structure is created from the assembly of large solid wood panels which were prefabricated off site. The unique second skin of the building is one which is not commonly seen in construction as a whole. This skin is made from untreated bamboo which envelopes the solid wood frame, passing through the windows to the north and finishing by unfolding onto the roof. To the south of the structure identical bamboo shutters are fitted onto the large open bay windows providing both shade and light, during both day and night. This cladding over time will eventually turn a grey colour and not only helps in reaching the required standards but in also adding a sustainable element and natural look to the overall building. In terms of the overall cost of the structure, according to the Passive House Institute data base the figure was nearly €290,000. This price in terms of buying a house in this region at the same time is very advantageous, with the passavie house coming in considerably cheaper.
The structure has a floor area of 161m sq and has only one concrete element in its make up, that being the ground floor slab. External wall construction as mentioned before is made up of two layers, compromising of the bamboo skin and hard wood panels. Along with this there is an under roof membrane, wood fibre insulating boards along with an airtight steam brake which all aid in insulating and improving air tightness in the structure. When looking at the different U-values of this building it can be seen from those given on the passive house data base that they are a little bit higher than those of Ireland’s first passive house which was built in 2005. However even though this is the case the heat load of both structures is calculated at 13 w/ (m2). In terms of the primary energy requirement which is required to be under 120 kWh / m2a, this building comes in at 90 kWh / m2a in comparison to the Irish example which has a lower requirement of 76 kWh / m2a.
|South Elevation (inhabitat.com)|
While it is important to compare these two types of structures as they come under the same classification it is important to take some factors intp account when comparing. They are both certified passive houses but are both completely unique designs which have been constructed using completely different materials and are both operating in very different climates. I do however think that this passive house in Bessancourt has included an aspect of sustainability which up until now has not been seen very often in the passive housing area.