BRUT Architectes Create an Eco-Friendly Straw Bale Home

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This project, dubbed PEN.DU, is a low-energy building that’s been designed and built for a young family. The house is set on a large plot of land in the residential district of Pénestin in northwestern France. The family enlisted the services of BRUT Architectes in order to make their dream home a reality.

The exterior of the house is clad entirely with translucent polycarbonate sheeting. The sheeting, when not back by insulation, helps to draw in lots of natural light. In this sense the house was envisaged as a large greenhouse.

pen.du - brut architects - france - exterior 1 - designfutz

The house is set on top of a large wooden platform that raises it above the ground level. A sense of playfulness can be found throughout, with swings netting and a climbing wall all making an appearance.

With respect to the environment, emphasis has been placed on passive solar design with the aim of absorbing and retaining heat throughout the day. To retain heat, they’ve made use of straw bale insulation.

pen.du - brut architects - france - interior 1 - designfutz

The design focuses on passive solar contribution and retaining heat generated throughout the day. translucent cladding reveals the building’s timber frame, which in turn hides the scheme’s straw bale insulation. the elevated nature of the dwelling reduces the impact on the ground below, while the use of bio-sourced materials limits the building’s carbon footprint.
– BRUT Architectes

Large windows have been employed on the south side of the building to provide panoramic outward views and also to capitalize on solar gain. The north side contains ventilation, allowing excess heat to escape. Other eco features include a rainwater run-off storage and reuse system.

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As well as framing views of the surrounding landscape, large windows to the south maximize solar gain in winter, while northern openings provide ventilation for the home’s bathrooms. in addition, rainfall collected from the large roof surface is stored and reused. – BRUT Architectes

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this project is the cost – it was completed on a budget of just €165,000.

Photos © Maxime Castric

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