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Build their passive house from A to Z: not to compromise on the quality of materials, comfort and space, this is what our readers have done!

Make yourself: an ecological wooden house

An apartment that is impossible to push the walls, a growing family, a strong desire to live in the countryside... so many good reasons for Mylène and Nicolas Brait embark on a construction project.
Given their level of requirement, they realize that they will have to build it themselves.
Although totally neophytes - "I had no experience" - our readers realize the plans they have validated by an architect and choose the wood as building material: "I did not have a priori. But after having informed myself, I understood that the wood construction was better adapted to self-construction; the implementation being simpler and faster".
They also know how to surround themselves: "We did a thermal study by a professional to be sure to build a really passive house.In addition, the latter, who had skills as a carpenter, came on site for a small training: assembly, handling tools... It was very useful. "

Start the work for an ecological house

earthworks and foundation of the passive house

  • The work starts with the earthworks and the realization of the foundations and reinforced concrete slab dosed at 350 kg / m3, on terreplein.
  • The slab is insulated with extruded polystyrene sheets.

deliveries of materials for an ecological house

  • The construction of a wooden house is primarily about handling and organization.
  • The first deliveries (beams, insulation, OSB panels) arrive on site.

mount the panels on the slab

  • The various panels forming the walls are directly mounted on the slab.
  • They consist of large framing boards (30 cm thick) braced with Class 4 OSB (inside).

laying walls of the passive house

  • The panels are prepared.
  • With the help of some friends and a manuscopic machine rented for the occasion, our reader raises in three days the walls of the first level, the floor and the walls of the second floor.
  • A speed of execution that only wood construction allows.

Good to know to build your passive house

The importance of airtightness

The airtightness is carried out, as the case may be, with the vapor barrier of the insulation and the hygroregulating membranes or, as here, with the rain screen and OSB panels. In all cases, the choice of adhesives is crucial for good performance over time.
During the implementation, it is important to lay the membranes continuously, taking care of the overlays as much as possible. The same attention must be paid to the installation of joinery or networks (water and electricity) when they cross the walls.

Mount the frame

installation of the frame

  • Very simple, the frame is mounted in stride.
  • After the establishment of the farm, the rafters are engaged on the smooth wood finish of the wall panels.
  • At each junction, our reader has installed adhesive sealing strips.

tile installation on the roof

  • As for the installation of the walls, a manuscopic machine is rented to mount the tiles on the roof.
  • "We covered the house in one day. At first, the tiles were crooked; so we spent two hours realigning them correctly".

Fastening blades in clinching with a nailer

  • After the installation of a rain screen, cleats are attached to the frame of the house to receive the cladding.
  • The clinching blades are fixed with a pneumatic nailer.

A dual flow VMC for heating

The results of the thermal study condition most of the constructive choices.

The envelope is made mainly with "biosourced" materials: structure, insulation (cellulose wadding and wood fibers), gypsum boards and cellulose...
Given the level of insulation, the heating is not useful: "We only have two extra devices".
It is the double flow ventilation system, also installed by our reader, that heats the house: "the ventilation was sized when we did the thermal study".
Our well-organized reader knows how to take advantage of the benefits of dry construction: "The wooden frame allows a good organization, I divided the house into walls of 3 and 5 meters, we mounted them and then stacked on the ground and then set up in three days, floor included". Even apparent ease for framing and roofing.
The real difficulty for all the work? "Even if we help with gear, handling is sometimes painful, especially gypsum boards that are much heavier than plaster".

Construction of the frame of the house

  • The plates are placed on a wooden frame in the attic and on a steel frame for the walls.
  • In this way, electrical ducts and plumbing can pass into the space between the structure and the amounts.

cellulose wadding insulation

  • Cellulose wadding insulation is blown into the wooden structure boxes using a light-duty machine (through the lights in the OSB panels).
  • The insulation is then completed with 6 cm thick fibreboard, nailed to the OSB planks.
  • Continuous insulation then leaves no thermal bridge.

Construction of a miller's ladder

  • A staircase, ladder type miller, is custom built to access the first floor.
  • It's time for finishing and decorating.


Video Instruction: How to build a passive house A*