Val d’Oise, France – Karawitz Architecture
Built area: 177 m2 (1,905 sq. ft.)
Year built: 2009
Heating needs: 11kWh/m²a
Photography: Hervé Abbadie and Karawitz
Orientation can make or break any home! In the southern hemisphere, sound design principles dictate that a home should open to the north and be protected from the south. In the northern hemisphere it is, of course, the opposite. Green building starts with orientation as the home shown here demonstrates, being closed to the north and having most of its triple-pane windows facing south.
The home has been acknowledged as the best performance, low consumption house in France and is the first French home to receive the European PHI “Passiv Haus Institut” certification.
The home uses a double skin – the outer being a bamboo screen that protects the home from intense sun and provides sheltering verandas while a solar system and bamboo roof complete the exterior envelope. The foundation slab is the only concrete, with the whole structure assembled from large, prefabricated timber panels.
The windows are triple glazed and the resulting home is so well insulated that the primary sources of heat are the simply the body heat of occupants and the sun. A heat recovery ventilator system provides fresh air.
“The Bamboo House is the first architect-designed and certified passive house in France, with a design incorporating numerous innovations. In this solid timber structure, technical and aesthetic aspects combine to form a unified whole: for example, galvanized sheet metal ventilation ducts have been left visible, while the foldaway sunshades on the south-facing façade are integral elements of the basic architecture. The outer shell is entirely covered with cut-to-measure bamboo poles threaded onto steel wires, giving a filigree appearance to this compact structure.”
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