Energy effective eco-housing in Nord-Pas de Calais
The Villavenir project is an environmentally-friendly housing project carried out in northern France (Nord-Pas de Calais). The project involved the construction of six individual houses based on different building techniques and materials: wood, steel, bricklaying, etc. It was developed in order to fulfil three goals: meet increasing environmental protection requirements, promote the use of energy efficient building techniques, and provide hands-on training on these techniques to the local labour force. Energy efficiency and use of the six houses is constantly monitored over a three-year period, in order to ensure objectives are effectively met.
The main driver behind the development of low energy intensive housing is the need to reduce GHG emissions levels produced by private households. The Grenelle legislation recently adopted by the French government has set an ambitious objective of bringing down energy consumption of new housing to under 50 Kwh/m²/year as early as 2012. This particular project was developed to demonstrate the possibility of meeting this objective, as well as to develop a new integrated and bottom-up approach to housing design and construction.
Replicating similar projects will have an effect on the levels of GHG emissions originating from households, but they could also enable the diffusion of innovations in the construction sector. In addition, the project has had a positive impact on employment at a local level, as well as on the transmission of eco-building skills among the local workforce.