When a retired couple in Baccarat, France, approached architecture firm , they had one very specific request. They wanted a house that would be extremely cost-effective and energy-efficient. So, the French firm got to work designing and building a streamlined structure using sustainable materials (mostly wood). The result? A nearly 1,200-square-foot home and detached garage that's simple, affordable, and specifically intended to heat and function as efficiently as possible. Best of all, you can create your own space inspired by the Open Source Home: Studiolada is offering the — for free. But you might need a translator (it's all in French).
"We hope that by making this knowledge accessible, we can inspire and encourage the projects and ideas of the greatest number," Christophe Aubertin of , writes of the project." Take a tour and learn more below.
"The living areas are connected: the kitchen to the living/dining room, the terrace to the garden," Aubertin continues. "This layout allows the space to expand towards the outside and reinforces the feeling of openness. The ground floor level is also entirely accessible to people with reduced mobility and offers a complete living area, if required."
"You will not find any plasterboards in this house—they have been replaced by wooden panels that cover the walls, the ceilings, and the partitions," Aubertin writes. "This choice allows the elimination of two trades (plastering and painting) and permits the organization of a time-saving, dry and clean construction site (because the wood panels are cut and varnished in a workshop)."
"The money we were able to save was then redirected towards the purchase of environmentally friendly devices, designed to add comfort," Aubertin writes. "At 1,250 € pre-tax per square meter for the residential area, the project places itself in the financial reality of the demand and the offer of the manufacturers of individual houses in France."
"The thermal inertia of the inhabited space is reinforced by the screed and prefabricated concrete which are and embedded into the internal post-and-beam structure," Aubertin writes. "The envelope is well insulated with sustainable materials: cellulose wadding (20 cm in the walls, 26 cm in the roof) and supplemented with wood fiber (6 cm in the walls and roof)."
"All the equipment linked to the fluids (heating, ventilation, hot water tank) is gathered in the central part of the plan in order to allow better diffusion and minimize the length of the distribution network," Aubertin writes. "The heating is provided by a programmable pellet stove, also placed in a central position. A double flow ventilation in the heart of the volume helps to gently and simply ventilate all the rooms."
"The southern facade is entirely glazed (protected by a pergola, which can support a cover or a climbing plant), whereas the Northern facade is completely blind," Aubertin writes. "The western gable is designed to be more welcoming whereas the eastern gable, more retracted, offers intimate spaces."