Old-look house completely heats itself

Top-of-the-range house has no bought-in heating

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This past winter saw France shivering but this Limousin house was at a comfortable 20C despite having no heating.

It stays warm by recovering heat from internal sources such as the oven, TV, computer or even the bodies of people inside.

Perfectly insulated, it comes after nine years of work by Steven Kaszuba of builders Avenidor to create an autonomous house using no bought-in energy and with no water or sewerage links.

Built in Ahun, Creuse, to look like a traditional Alsace colombage house, it is a testbed of the low energy-use Passivhaus system and is the first to gain the Bâtiment Passif Premium label. Avenidor aims to project-manage builds in France and Europe. Mr Kaszuba said: “We have rethought everything, a bit like Tesla for cars. “My family is in the building trade in Creuse and I wanted a house to cope with its fierce summer heat and its winter cold. It took six years of research then two years to pull together the idea along with materials, suppliers and processes. “In all it cost €2million but the total house build cost is €2,000/m2 including white goods.”

A top-of-the-range house, it has high-insulation aerated concrete walls, double-flux heat pump, wastewater heat exchangers plus filtration plant and freshwater from an aquifer. Double-faced solar panels have a pond in front to take direct solar energy plus reflected light off the pond.

Mr Kaszuba opted for ‘historic’ styling on the display house to avoid typical futurist eco-house styles. A Chinese client wanted an Alsacien-type house so blue was used as it is the colour of masculinity in China and is much used in Alsace.