Daily Archives: 1 July 2020

Home Renovations: Opting for Eco-renovation

Renovation covers a wide range of works: from the simple refreshing of a room to much heavier work involving the structural work. It is also based on an existing building, which implies particular constraints. Why renovate? Renovating a house makes it possible to adapt the building to your desires, but it can also be necessary to carry out work in the event of deterioration. A heavy renovation must be carefully thought out, and while thinking about it, why not opt for eco-renovation. Do you want to live in a healthy, comfortable and ecological house? You have decided not to remain passive in the face of environmental degradation? Here are a few pointers to help you understand the fundamentals of eco-renovation.

Eco-renovation: its advantages

Eco-renovation consists of adapting an existing construction to create a comfortable and healthy interior space, while seeking to reduce its impact on the environment, taking into account:

the work carried out (low impact materials, heritage quality, …);
the use of the house (heating, water, waste, travel).

Determining criteria

There are a number of reasons for this:

To adapt the existing system to current comfort requirements.
To reduce the loads.
Gain independence from fluctuations in energy costs.
To improve comfort (no more “cold walls”, no unwanted air movements, etc.).
Reduce the risks of damage to the building (condensation on or in the walls).
Anticipate future thermal regulations.
Responding to environmental issues:
– climate change;
– depletion of resources;
– health and biodiversity risks (waste, nuclear accident, oil spill, etc.).

Investing in what already exists rather than building something new
The reasons can be various:

Safeguarding agricultural land: currently, more than 1,000 m² of arable land is being converted to urbanisation every minute.
To preserve and enhance the local heritage.
Non-increasing local authority charges (networks, waste collection, etc.).
The conservation of a village or district.
Limiting the energy consumption of a building, which is mainly due to structural work.

Characteristics of an eco-renovation

Take the time to design the project
Above all, it’s about taking the time to:

– Carry out an inventory of the existing building: the construction system and its specificities, the possible humidity problems to solve, the strong/weak points of the existing building (inertia, orientation, the layout of the rooms,…), the heritage elements to preserve.
Define the objectives of the renovation.
Call upon Unique Custom Homes for the design and management of the building site.

Take into account the energy performance

Given current comfort requirements and the environmental impact of energy consumption, it is imperative that an eco-renovation takes into account the energy performance of the house:

Aim for the BBC-renovation level (Low Consumption Building), which appears to be the most relevant.
Give priority to insulation, airtightness, efficient ventilation and summer comfort (inertia, solar protection).
Think about renewable energies (solar, wood, especially wood pellets).

Reducing the environmental impact of the work carried out

The manufacture and use of the materials in your renovation are not neutral from an environmental point of view. To reduce their impact, choose bio-sourced (mainly plant-based) or recycled materials, and if possible local.

Find the right balance between architectural quality, heritage preservation, quality of use (comfort and low loads) and control of environmental impact.

Important: Have an airtightness test carried out during and at the end of the work: this is one of the best ways of checking the quality of the installation.

Look for quality
Call on professionals with proven track records.

Note: in the case of an old building, do not forget to take into account the behaviour of the wall in relation to humidity (capillary rise, opening to water vapour).

And finally, do not forget:

Air quality: use finishing products with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions and do not forget ventilation.
Water management, whether it is rainwater or water consumption (use of foamers and water-saving showerheads).

Hope this post helps you out with your eco-renovation project. Remember to leave your comments and share your experience with our reader in the section below.


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