HUGE - home and small office

Last modified by the author on 29/05/2017 - 21:04
  • Building Type : Isolated or semi-detached house
  • Construction Year : 2014
  • Delivery year : 2014
  • Address 1 - street : rue de la Chapelle 21 6780 MESSANCY, Belgique
  • Climate zone : [Cfb] Marine Mild Winter, warm summer, no dry season.

  • Net Floor Area : 200 m2
  • Construction/refurbishment cost : 350 000 €
  • Number of Dwelling : 1 Dwelling
  • Cost/m2 : 1750 €/m2
  • Primary energy need
    -1 kWhep/
    (Calculation method : )
Energy consumption
Economical buildingBuilding
< 50A
51 à 90B
91 à 150C
151 à 230D
231 à 330E
331 à 450F
> 450G
Energy-intensive building

The house was first conceived in a bioclimatic way, with large openings on living rooms to the south, small openings on the secondary rooms to the north. The joint ownership was intended because of compactness. We then imagined a simple wooden structure supplemented by good external insulation. To have a thermal flywheel, we needed a large slab in the heated volume, which led us to isolate under the slab with cellular glass. Unlike others that open the spaces and heat up the whole house, we have preferred a large, well-partitioned living space, which will be heated by the sun and the kitchen, so that we can completely switch from heating to heating. We created an entrance airlock to avoid drafts when someone leaves the front door open, because in the area it is customary to chat on the doorstep ... open.

The materials are almost all ecological, renewable. The structure and the insulation are made of wood, some walls are filled with raw earth for the hygrometry and the thermal mass.

Building users opinion

The inhabitants (we!) are delighted with the thermal qualities of the building. Guests often find it hard to believe there is no heating or cooling. We are less often sick of the respiratory system in winter than before. The brightness of the South is superb, especially in winter when there are few.

If you had to do it again?

If it were to be remade, we would make it smaller but would add the finishes and the exteriors (lamps, terrace). The passive chassis had evolved very much in 3 years, we would install a large sliding (sliding to the very good performances did not exist at that time). For all the rest, the choices would be the same

See more details about this project

Data reliability



Contracting method

Separate batches

Owner approach of sustainability

The project owner, Valérie-Anne Hugé, was interested in sustainable construction when she was still mocked and misunderstood. She built a house in straw and studied bioclimatism. For her home, she wanted "total ecological", ie bioclimatic, passive, concentrated, biological, labeled, and even adaptable PMR and adaptable to family modifications. She has done many finishing herself with so eco-friendly materials that the contractors sometimes did not want to implement them at the time (eg raw earth, TLB toilets)

Architectural description

All the architectural choices have privileged function and bioclimatism to the formal aspect. From the outside, the house seems banal, no one stops to admire it. The front façade in the north has small windows dedicated solely to the lighting of the technical rooms and an airlock to avoid drafts. The house, built beyond the standards of the passive, goes without heating. Double-flow ventilation allows the incoming air to be warmed up. Solar panels produce all the electricity needed for family life as well as domestic hot water. The materials were selected for their low environmental impact. Wooden structure built by a local craftsman, wood wool insulation, ecological paints, solid wood flooring ... Raw earthen walls have been placed in several places of the house for their thermal, acoustic and hygrometric performances. In fact, they absorb excess moisture from the air to restore it later, when the air is too dry. The rainwater is recovered for laundry and toilets. There are even biomirated litter toilets, an ecological experimental concept designed to produce compost instead of polluting! The ground floor is accessible and adaptable to wheelchairs.

Energy consumption

  • -1,00 kWhep/
  • 100,00 kWhep/
  • -1,00 kWhef/
  • Heating: 0%

    The electricity consumed by the sanitary, lighting, machinery and cooking is fully compensated by the solar panels, so we have a negative electricity consumption.

Real final energy consumption

    -1,00 kWhef/

    -1,00 kWhef/

    2 010

Envelope performance

  • 12,00 W.m-2.K-1
  • K = 12.0

  • 1,90
  • EN 13829 - q50 » (en m3/h.m3)

  • 0,22
  • Semi-automated system: each light point is connected (and switched off) to the switchboard, the switches are connected to the switchboard with a voltage of 30 volts. On the board, the cables are physically connected without an interface. It is possible to change the assignments of the switches but the inhabitants do not see the interest. They appreciate the "All Off"; switch and the absence of 220 volts in the switches and cables of the extinct lamps (electromagnetic fields).


    • No heating system
    • Solar Thermal
    • No cooling system
    • Double flow heat exchanger
    • Solar photovoltaic
    • Solar Thermal
  • 100,00 %
  • Windows in the South, rooms of life in the South

Urban environment

    There are 2 bus stops within 300m of the project, and several within 2km. There is an average of 2 to 3 buses per hour and per direction. Parking: 2 places in front of the house, nothing in the garage. There is room for 4 to 5 bicycles in the garage, and the entry-exit is easy on the ground floor. We are in a rural area very well served: (real distances) 6km from the center of Arlon (where there are many shops), 2300m from a group of shops: garden - restaurants - shoes - baby - stationery - Zeeman - blokker - maxitoys - meuble factory - Aldi - mattress - Go sport - Mc Donald, Castle of Ax, Barter in stock ... at 2500m of the Cora (with ancillary shops) at 4500m of an Outlet Center of which a road "local circulation"; perfect to go shopping by bike. There is a kindergarten and a primary school 300m away from the project (in the village), a secondary school at 3300m which is safe to bike by the local traffic route, and other schools accessible by bus to Arlon.

  • 467,00 m2
  • 25,70 %
  • 347,00


    Menuiserie Hermine 66

    Her-Win SA

    Tél +32 60 34 45 44 - Fax +32 60 34 69 44 - [email protected]

    Finishing work / Exterior joinery - Doors and Windows

    Passive chassis. At the time, Europe's most efficient chassis, at a lower price than the others thanks to specialization: they only manufacture passive chassis. The chassis Hermine 66 becomes the first passive mixed chassis (wood-aluminum) to obtain the approval ATG which adds to the certificate PHI already obtained (Uf = 0,60W / m²K)

    We were very happy to find chassis so efficient, not too expensive, and aesthetically modern. They are very heavy but it does not feel to use.

Construction and exploitation costs

  • 350 000
  • 10 000

Water management

    Rainwater supply: washing machine, toilet (except TLB), vidoir.

Indoor Air quality

    No measurements made


    The living spaces are oriented to the South, because there is the most natural light. In addition, it is the orientation that brings the highest sun which is less dazzling. The summer - winter comfort is optimal thanks to the thermal mass which keeps the heat - the freshness.

    Winter: minimum temperature 18 °, but pleasant feeling because no current of air nor humidity. Summer: maximum temperature 25 ° even during heat waves provided that it can ventilate at night.

    It is a single-family dwelling which is not calculated for high acoustic insulation. Yet, dry floating screeds upstairs give good comfort, while hearing the children if they scream (it's safer :-)

Life Cycle Analysis

    Wood structure labeled CFC, insulation labeled wood, raw earth, insulation under slab in recycled glass, no PU.

Reasons for participating in the competition(s)

​La maison est si bien isolée qu'elle n'a pas besoin de chauffage ni de refroidissement du tout. Les fenêtres plein SUD chauffent les espaces de vie en hiver et des screens nous protègent de la surchauffe en été. Les matériaux sont presque tous naturels, écologiques, renouvelables. Les murs en terre crue nous apportent confort hygrométrique et protection contre les infections respiratoires, le plancher traité à l'huile naturelle et les peintures écologiques nous préservent des produits chimiques. En plus, un peu de technologie bien placée nous permet de vivre zen, comme le système semi-domotique avec un bouton "All-Off" qui éteint toutes les lampes d'un coup, génial quand on doit partir ou avant d'aller dormir.

Building candidate in the category

Energy & Temperate Climates

Energy & Temperate Climates

Health & Comfort

Health & Comfort

Users' Choice

Users' Choice

Green Solutions Awards 2017 - Buildings

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Author of the page

Valérie-Anne Hugé

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Green Solutions Awards 2017 - Buildings