Positive Social Housing - 4-room house

Last modified by the author on 20/03/2015 - 16:08

New Construction

  • Building Type : Isolated or semi-detached house
  • Construction Year : 2013
  • Delivery year : 2013
  • Address 1 - street : 36 rue Georges Clémenceau 11400 CASTELNAUDARY, France
  • Climate zone : [Csa] Interior Mediterranean - Mild with dry, hot summer.

  • Net Floor Area : 101 m2
  • Construction/refurbishment cost : 134 755 €
  • Number of Dwelling : 1 Dwelling
  • Cost/m2 : 1334.21 €/m2

Certifications :

  • Primary energy need
    35.6 kWhep/m2.an
    (Calculation method : RT 2012 )
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 Positive Social Housing project is primarily a sustainable development project on the scale of a territory. It brought together the city of Castelanaudary, the social landlord Habitat Audois, the students and the teachers of the  building trades Andreossy Highschool of Castelnaudary and the TERREAL company, a constructive solutions manufacturer for the building envelope and leading economic player of the region.

The project is the brainchild of four partners:

  • Imagine an exemplary territorial project around the Eco district Vallons de Griffoul by building two positive energy houses using local materials mainly from extracted locally clay. The cost of construction and maintenance of the houses had to be compatible with the financing of social housing and therefore controlled. Selected materials and systems are simple to operate and robust. It is also designing efficient housings in which the human factor remains at the center.
  • Build: Positive Social housing is a concrete project. Two houses were built by local actors, introducing innovative techniques with the support of Terreal for their implementation. The construction was done in accordance with the principles of bioclimatic architecture and with particular focus on the summer comfort of the future resident.
  • Understand: The Positive Social housing project allowed each player to understand how we imagine and how to build buildings that can compensate all consumptions of the house and its occupants by producing renewable energy at an exemplary cost. This project was also an excellent teaching aid for students in high school who imagined the technical solutions for shaders.

The Positive Social Housing project is also the practical support for research conducted in 2015 by a PhD student at the University of CERTOP Toulouse. The research aimed to understanding the influence of occupant behavior on the performance of homes, in order to work on supporting change management. That way, these positive energy buildings stay positive even with their inhabitants, and without coercion, to really meet the challenge of energy sobriety.

This case study concerns the 4-room house.

Sustainable development approach of the project owner

The goal was to learn and understand how to make a positive energy house controlled cost with actors and local materials, and to understand how it is occupied by the inhabitants to subsequently propose technical solutions that will adapt to occupiers and not the reverse. Make houses really positive energy!

Architectural description

The project consists of two adjoining houses T3 and T4 using building materials made locally and respecting the principles of bioclimatic architecture

See more details about this project




    Habitat Audois

    Monsieur Armand Cathala


    Contribution to the initiation and success of the project, social landlord and owner of the house

    Thermal consultancy agency

    CITE Vergé

    Alain Biard

    Thermal calculations

    Certification company


    Maxime Parent du Châtelet


    Certification Bepos Effinergie 2013 and Effinergie +

Energy consumption

  • 35,60 kWhep/m2.an
  • 59,70 kWhep/m2.an
  • RT 2012

    Actual energy consumption 2014:
    - Heating kWhfe = 19.8 / m² / year
    - ECS: 2.9 kWhfe / m² / year
    - Lighting + auxiliary ventilation: 2.3 kWhfe / m² / year
    - Total RT2012: kWhfe 25 / m² / year
    - specific consumption: 30.74 kWhfe / m² / year

Real final energy consumption

    55,74 kWhef/m2.an

    71,83 kWhef/m2.an

    71,83 kWhef/m2.an

    2 014

Envelope performance

  • 0,34 W.m-2.K-1
  • - External walls: Brick BMI isolated monolith Terreal + coating + ext plasterboard U = 0.268 W / m².K
    - Internal walls: placbric partitions Terreal + int + coated insulation: U = 0.309 W / m².K
    - Floor Screed insulation + compression slab + isoleader 23: U = 0.130 W / m².K
    - Ceiling height lost: plasterboard + 36 cm of blown wool U = 0.154 W / m².K

  • 0,52
  • n50

  • 0,25

More information

Actual consumption :
- Heating: kWhfe 37.86 / m² / year
- ECS: 3.17 kWhfe / m² / year
- Lighting + auxiliary ventilation: 1.78 kWhfe / m² / year
- Total RT2012: kWhfe 42.41 / m² / year
- specific consumption: 29.02 kWhfe / m² / year


    • Electric heater
    • Wood boiler
    • Solar Thermal
    • No cooling system
    • Humidity sensitive Air Handling Unit (Hygro B
    • Solar photovoltaic
  • 340,00 %

Urban environment

  • 500,00 m2
  • The house is located in the eco-district of Vallons du Griffoul in Castelnaudary. The eco-district completes the existing urban fabric, in line with the sustainable development objectives of the municipality:
    - Urban form and integration: limitation of heights, reduced car use, presence of bike paths, pedestrian paths, the proximity of public transport.
    - Gender equality: homes will be individual, individual grouped and collective. A quarter of them will be in social housing.
    - Water: recovery of rainwater, consumption control equipment, welcome booklets for future occupants.
    - Biodiversity : conservation of woodlands.
    - Bioclimatic orientation : living rooms south.
    - Energy: low consumption buildings and solar thermal hot water.
    - Waste: sorting and composting areas.
    - Materials: local, natural, certified.
    - Reasonable costs.
    - Concertation.




    [email protected]


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    System of isolated monolithic bricks the height of one storey (30 cm insulated). The façade is asymmetrical so as to concentrate most of his side mass inside the house, thus giving a better inertia therefore a better summer comfort. The system also allows an excellent result to the air impermeability test.

    View the videos shot during the construction with the interview of the building company which explains how the product is arises and what are its benefits : http://www.habitatsocialpositif.com/construire-hsp/en-images/videos/

    Soterre TH2


    [email protected]


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    Solar thermal hot water, usable in low sloping roof integration, it remains tight in slopes of 20%

    Very well accepted by the roofing company, Terreal's integration kit was developed with traditional hedging techniques and a companion of duty.

Construction and exploitation costs

  • 134 750

GHG emissions

  • 1,00 KgCO2/m2/an

Reasons for participating in the competition(s)

​The houses of the Positive Energy Social Housing project prove the reality of positive energy.
After 18 months of occupancy, all consumptions are optimised: the 5 usages of the French thermal regulation and the consumptions specific to th the tenants. Theses consumptions are entirely compensated by renewable energies. That's why this house competes in the Net Zero Energy Building category.

Building candidate in the category

Bâtiment zéro énergie

Bâtiment zéro énergie

Green Building Solutions Awards 2015

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isabelle Dorgeret

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Green Building Solutions Awards 2015