Reference area for straw construction in France, the Loiret department has just taken a new step. The straw colleges of Pithiviers and Dadonville were inaugurated at the beginning of September.
The choice of this material, which has obtained certifications from the Construction Quality Agency (AQC) and the Scientific and Technical Center for Building (CSTB), was imposed on Marc Gaudet, the UDI president of the Departmental Council, during the a visit to the Feuillette house: dating from 1920, it is the oldest individual straw construction in Europe, acquired in 2013 by the French straw construction network (RFCP). ” Being a farmer myself, I am sensitive to these centuries-old materials and techniques, the development of which can bring new economic outlets to our farmers ”, explains the elected official, impressed by the insulating qualities of the straw bales, ” much more resistant than one could imagine ”.
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His discovery of the Courtenay Cultural Center, which borrows the same natural raw materials, convinced him to follow these examples for construction and renovation projects for buildings administered by the community. And to answer thus “To the crucial issues of ecological transition and energy savings”.
“Put an end to thermal strainers”
Concerning the two colleges, the 42 million euro site entrusted to Bouygues Construction represents an additional cost compared to a traditional construction, which did not discourage the departmental elected officials. Unanimous, they showed their will to “ finish with thermal strainers ” and were reinforced in their choice by predictable heating savings “Consistent, durable and fast”.
Finally, by developing this sector, they called on producers from the surrounding area, Beauce and Gâtinais, to cover the needs of straw bales as well as hemp, flax and cotton for the college of Pithiviers. According to the Department, ” 55% of the design and production services were entrusted to SMEs and craftsmen, mostly local, for more than 25 million euros; 85% of the work was subcontracted to local service providers; 50% of upkeep and maintenance services will be provided by local companies ”.
Enthusiastic, the elected does not rule out the hypothesis of continuing in this direction for the renovation of aging buildings and the reconstruction of the André Malraux college in Saint-Jean-de-la-Ruelle. Influenced by this school project, the landlord Valloire Habitat has just started the construction of a building of eighteen social housing units – combining straw insulation and wooden frames – in Saint-Jean-de-la-Ruelle. A first in the Center-Val de Loire region.