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“Our mission at Écologis is to offer lower income demographics with housing that is cheap to purchase and cheap to heat without compromising quality, providing inhabitants with comfort and serenity.

We strive to have a social and environmental impact on our areas of operation, now, and in the future, by using revolutionary construction techniques that reduce waste and pollution, lowering local energy consumption to the theoretical minimum and hiring local labor in areas where both housing and employment are needed.”

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Aim

Aim

Passive Houses for all

By combining a patented technology and the first integration of industrial methods to construction, Écologis will provide the world’s first most affordable passive houses.

Those in need of low cost housing are those most in need of financial stability. Cheap housing is often the least efficient, causing waste of energy, money and resources.

Écologis’ mission is to offer houses that are both lowest cost and lowest energy usage, providing confidence in the future for most people.

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Security

Today, a house user knows what is to be paid on a house mortgage or rental. However, the increase in heating costs raises his insecurity.

By dramatically reducing the energy needed for heating, guaranteeing that the cost remains low, passive houses provide future financial security for inhabitants and owners.

Financial and ecological benefits

A passive house is defined (amongst other things) by consuming only 15 kW.h per year per square meter. This is easier, and in some cases, only possible with Écologis houses thanks to the continuity of the insulating wall envelope and the total absence of thermal bridges.

Basic calculations demonstrate that the average 100m2 house would cost up to €1.500 per year to heat, whilst the Écologis house would cost less than €90 per year.

Why

Why

A change is needed

Europe is witnessing a set of trends that make Écologis a necessary solution.

The increasing cost of energy emphasizes the need for products that end-users can rely on in the future. Tighter budgets of European households call for lower priced goods. The public and the authorities’ increased sustainability awareness calls for new and better designed products and services. Lastly, the lack of affordable housing in Europe creates an important demand for a cheap product with reliable performance.

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Energy Prices

The price of electricity is a good measure of how households’ costs are increasing regarding heating and general electricity consumption.

Europe’s growing population along with the shift of electricity production methods has caused increases in energy prices and will continue doing so. Additionally, the transition in the past few years has caused for sudden decreases in production of energy between 2010 and 2011 in the EU-27, more particularly in France (-6.1%) and Belgium (-4.6%).

The graph further indicates that there is a significant increase in price of energy in our target markets. The trend-line also shows a continued price increase for Europe in general (Correlation coefficient, R2=0.9).

All these factors increase a widespread demand for near-zero energy housing that Écologis has pioneered and can provide today.

Energy price for consumers

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€ / kWh

Current Situation

At this point in time, affordable* and social housing are the worst in terms of heating energy performance, simply because these units are usually built with the cheapest construction cost as a goal. This is a clear issue for low-income demographics living in affordable housing as they suffer the most from the increased energy cost and have the less means.

*affordable housing is that which is deemed affordable to those with a lower household income.

 

Note: RT2012 (Régulation Thérmique 2012) are the standards set up in France for the heating consumption of new builds starting in 2012.

Energy consumption - Per house type

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kW.h/m2.year

Current Situation II

The low-standard construction practices of affordable and social housing do indeed make these cheap. In fact there is a direct correlation between the increase in energetic performance and the price / m2.

Today, passive houses* are built on case by case basis using artisan methods. There is still little offer for passive houses, resulting in dispersion of prices, ie. houses offers go from 1.400 to 2.000 € / m2, where similar non-passive houses are offered around 1.200 € / m2.

*A passive house is defined (amongst other things by consuming only 15 kW.h per year per square meter.

Current market prices - Per house type

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€ / m2

Energy Consumption

Energy consumption per sector

Today, housing represent the single largest energy consumption category at 30% of all energy used in OCDE countries. Within that 30%, an average of 70% is dedicated to heating, that is, 21% of the energy produced in Europe goes towards heating houses.

A significant reduction in heating loss would therefore have a significant impact on our usage of resources and finances.

Energy consumption

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per sector

Social housing under Supply

  • As of the end of 2011, 35,285 households in Wallonia were not supplied with the appropriate social house.
  • In France communes of over 3,500 inhabitants are required to contain 25% social houses 38% of communes do not satisfy the 20% mark.
  • In France in 2011, 11 million households were on the waiting list for a social house.
  • The Strategic Housing Market Assessment (UK) 2008 estimates that 182,100 affordable houses will be needed in the UK in the next ten years.

Industrial Revolutions

Construction is probably the last main sector not to have benefited from industrial revolutions.

Houses or apartment blocks are built on case by case basis, with artisan methods. Artisan methods require specialized labor in each part of the construction. This causes for houses to be an assembly of skills rather than the integration of one construction method.

Ecologis’ industrial methods allow us to build vast amounts of houses, on site, with virtually no margin for error thanks to closely monitored, precisely documented procedures, at a rate of one house per day per building site.

“While the productivity in the manufacturing industry has improved by four hundred percent (400%) over the last century, the construction industry’s productivity has, in the best case, stayed flat or turned negative” -Dr. Perry Daneshgari 

Regulatory advantages

  • The European goal for 2020 is to reduce green house gases by 20% for business-as-usual.
  • There is a further goal to reduce green house gases by 90% by 2050.
  • The Eurostat office of the commission notes that the housing alone could reduce gases by up to 27%.
  • All new builds must be “nearly zero energy buildings” by 2020 while the energy used must be “to a very large extent” renewable.
  • In France, new builds are required to consume less than <50kW.h/m2.year in order to satisfy the RT2012 (régulation thérmique 2012).
  • In Belgium, minimum measures of insulation of the are assigned, Écologis satisfies the regulations for all regions.

How

How

a shift in technologies

Écologis is the combination of a patented construction technology and methodology that was used for the first time over 27 years ago.

We have rethought the way buildings are put together, as well as the processes used to do so.

Both our patented technology and methodology are entirely new to the construction and are the backbone of the project, which will allow us to arrive at the world’s first affordable passive houses.

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Technology

We have not tried to improve existing houses with more insulation. Ecologis’ concept entirely rethinks construction by giving priority to the primary functions of a house: to protect the inhabitants from the hazards of the outside world. Thermal insulation is a founding component of our house conception.

Our patented technology enables us to fabricate walls as a continuous, seamless, self supporting insulating shell that encapsulates the entire house, resulting in no thermal bridges.

We used this technology 27 years ago for buildings whose inhabitants benefit from energy performance that is still considered experimental elsewhere.

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Methodology

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Our methodology will allow us to build groups of individual houses at low prices, delivering one house per day on each site.

The scaffolding is covered with our sheeting system, encapsulating the construction zone. Weather variations are eliminated, resulting in reliable planning and costs. It also enables us to build in a logical technical sequence, as opposed to traditionnal building: constrained to start with the outside to protect the other construction steps.

By managing the temperature, ventilation and lighting we benefit from reliable conditions every day. The site is clean, dry, and waste is easily contained.

Each team worker has one computer-generated drawing per day detailing each step for the job and its validation. As the days goes, each check is reported via portable terminals, including data and photos.

By the end of each workday, work-in-progress is analysed, published transparently on site, including planning, sustainability parameters and financial monitoring.

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Modular units, also to our low-energy standards, host management offices, local ICT and catering for all the staff.

The workshop and inventory is on the site, in a temporary structure, with specialised machinery that prepares all modular elements.

All pre-cut materials are brought to each house on light carts on rails, avoiding any heavy vehicle disturbing the surrounding grounds. From stock to final assembly, each element is serialised and tracked, enabling precise real-time monitoring of work progress.

We aslo use a few containers for some very specific processes that don't need immediate proximity to the house being built, and some autonomous machines on light trailers.

An excavator digs a hole in the precise shape and place of the future house.

Position and dimensions are defined and monitored by our dGPS and laser-grid positioning system linked to the design software.

Immediately after the excavation is done, peripheral scaffoldings are erected, bearing a tent system that provides a weather-tight enclosed space that results in a reliable working environment. This makes us independent of weather variations and allows us to build in a logical sequence.

We benefit from appropriate lighting, temperature, humidity and ventilation and also easily contain the very few sources of waste and emissions.

Rails are fixed in known position, motorised-projectors of our design run on those rails to apply gunite directly on the excavation's flanks and bottom.

The same motorised-projectors carrying another specialised application gun pours the bottom insulation envelope layer.

These machines have also been designed in-house since 1976, and our last generation features a uniquely optimised energy usage, using 50 to 80% less energy than the industry "leaders".

A very thick slab of concrete, with low cement ratio and reinforcement fibers is cast in the casing-like shape provided by the insulation layer.

We will later fix the fluid exchange tubes and cover it with a liquid-poured screed. Later still the desired finishing material will be placed on the screed.

This important mass is the main source of heat inertia (freshness in summer).

A wooden framework is assembled from pre-cut elements, avoiding any measurement or adjustment on site.

The pre-cut interior panels are then attached to the framework. The specially designed window frames are placed in their final position.

All networks and services for electricity, lighting, water, sanitation, ventilation, etc. are installed: terminals are fixed on the inside, and pre-assembled networks wires, cables and tubes are placed from the outside that is still completely accessible.

The monolithic insulating shell of the insulation wall is now applied in place as a continuous envelope, liaising with the under-slab insulation and incapsulating all the house up to the rooftop.

We use our own design of devices on rails which guide the pouring and spraying guns, ensuring the thickness and continuity of the wall.

If the final outside finish is of cladding type, the application device holds the fixture profiles in place while they are imbedded in the wall material, therefore held without any direct links to the underlying framework

Our organisation development of these processes was initiated in the 1980s, inspired amongst others from some Ikea concepts, from visiting the Skanska factory (biggest swedish pre-fab house builder), the Volvo Kalmar factory and its then newly implemented Team Assembly, and learning from the Toyota Production System and Eliyahu Goldratt's Theory of Constrains.

The last step in the process is the outside finish. In case of cladding, in wood, panels, corrugated metal, etc., it is fixed to the semi-embedded profiles.

The roofs are similarly handled, most usually with tiles or stones, on semi-embedded wood structures. The underlaying wall envelope provides a totally waterproof sub-roofing surface allowing any roof mounted devices (ie. solar panels) without bothering about complex seams and flashings

In case of rendering, it is applied with fiber or metallic net reinforcement. The final aspect can include every existing texture and color. Our existing works show that the final wall resists being attacked with a 3 kg sledgehammer.

We have also extensively provided with natural materials or the like, reaching now more than 24 years of weathering.

What

What

endothermic construction

Écologis meets current and future housing needs by combining a revolutionary technology with industrial processes to provide unattained energetic performance at the cheapest price on the market.

The world’s first affordable passive houses.

This unique project entails a paradigm shift in construction, with the potential to create a new industry, providing no-compromise housing for all and guaranteeing reliable low maintenance costs for households today and in the future.

 

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Social Benefits

  • Industrial methods and in-house training allow for local hiring bringing a further positive impact to the area.
  • Our technology allows for local sourcing of most materials outside of polyurethane.
  • Under-shelter construction ensures no damage to the landscape thanks to a work-shop environment.
  • Écologis provides housing at the lowest price on the market.
  • Écologis provides a guarantee of financial stability in the future for inhabitants.
  • The end product guarantees a 90% reduction in financial expenditure and carbon-footprint of heating.

Contact Details

Contact us

You may contact us using the adjacent form or by emailing us info@ecolog.is.

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The Écologis team.