Thatched buildings begin to grow in the Lot-et-Garonne

the essential
The thatched construction sector is developing little by little in the Lot-et-Garonne. Trying to make itself known to construction professionals and public and private actors, the sector is getting organized with various events scheduled in the coming months.

Central building material in the story of the three little pigs, straw begins to go beyond the simple frame of fiction in Lot-et-Garonne.

In 2022, the Olympe de Gouges kindergarten located in Port-Sainte-Marie benefited from a wooden straw extension. This construction will be able to be fully used in September 2023 by the little residents for their naps and other activities. With this project, the town hall wanted “an eco-responsible building made up of materials of biological origin (wood wool, straw, wood…)” explains Nathalie Samson, regional coordinator of Résonance straw, thatched construction sector in New Aquitaine and representative of the RFCP (French thatched construction network).

A material with many advantages

Straw has many benefits “thermally with very strong insulating power for both summer and winter comfort. It also has good heat transfer, which means that the heat will take several hours to pass through the material”, allowing rooms to remain cool at night.

Furthermore, combined with wood and earth, this material guarantees “acoustic quality by absorbing noise and air quality because these materials do not emit VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)”. Today the “environmental regulations (RE2020) impose it and take into account the life cycle of the building and the reuse of its materials” specifies Nathalie Samson.

An industry trying to “make itself known”

In a department where straw products are “few, certainly due to the lack of knowledge of materials of biological origin”, the sector “is currently in an animation and training job” reveals Nathalie Samson.

A sector therefore in a “dynamic of making itself known, of raising the awareness of project managers (customers) to select building professionals trained in pro-straw training in the area”. For the latter, “it is an increase in skills to reach new markets and incentivize public contracting authorities (municipalities, social landlords, departments, regions, etc.) or private ones”. The company that carries out thatched construction must undergo training and have obtained its training certificate because the RFCP (established in 2006) has created the professional rules for thatched construction. The Lot-et-Garonne straw sector aims to “work in short circuit”, locally with a farmer located “between 50 and 100km from the site”.

In the department, thatched construction is therefore «in an embryonic state, it’s just beginning». To “develop” the sector, the first departmental meeting of thatched construction is scheduled for 4 October in Port-Sainte-Marie, reserved for professionals, co-organized by Résonance Paille, Cluster Odéys, CAPEB 47, FFB 47 and FIBOIS New Aquitaine . A week later, on 12 and 13 October, Tonneins will host the fair of materials of biological origin, organized by CAPEB 47.

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