There are now a multitude of terms for an ecological house, including low-energy and sustainable house. Eco-responsible architecture, in particular, is a generalized term that encompasses various aspects of a home. However, in order to qualify as ecological, it must meet certain criteria.
Above all, ecological architecture must be energy-efficient. In order to make the most of the sun’s rays in the winter and to avoid any risk of overheating in the summer, it must respect the principles of bioclimatic architecture. In addition, an eco-responsible architecture must have good insulation, better airtightness and optimised ventilation. In other words, it must meet the requirements of the thermal regulation RT 2012. In short, in order to limit energy consumption, an eco-friendly building must have a high-performance envelope and economical ventilation and heating systems. It must also use economical household appliances and lighting.
In order to be environmentally friendly, sustainable and ecological architecture must be designed with recyclable materials. In principle, it is necessary to analyse the house during its different phases of life: construction, operation and demolition. In this way, it is possible to optimize the profitability of an existing construction and reduce its overall ecological footprint. To control environmental impacts, certain factors must be taken into account in both new construction and renovation. These include making maximum use of local materials, using recyclable materials (such as wood) or materials that can be reused as they are, the possibility of demolishing the construction at the end of the operating phase, and reducing construction site waste by calculating more accurately the quantity of materials required for construction.
Geographical location, another basic criterion
The location of the building is also an important condition to qualify a house as a thrifty architecture. The location of the dwelling must be served by public transport. To understand the impact this may have on the environment, one only has to think of the ecological effect of regular commuting to and from work over a period of two decades. In addition, the presence of local services such as shops, medical centres and pharmacies contribute to providing a practical living environment for the occupants. It also helps to have an impact on the environmental footprint of the occupants’ lives. It is this convenience, in fact, that drives many people to live downtown.