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Houses made entirely of cardboard?

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Building a cardboard house, you had to think about it, dare to do it, and achieve it. And the end result is nothing to smile about. Very comfortable and quite "normal" in appearance, cardboard houses are proving to be very economical and ultra-ecological solutions. In an international context where the media concept of sustainable development is de rigueur, these revolutionary habitats are perfectly solid and at least as fire resistant as their concrete competitors.

Cardboard, an ecological and ultra-economical material

To make a cardboard house, it is not child's play to stack cardboard boxes that would collapse at the first gust of wind. The concept is very serious, with a solidity defying the usual concrete structures. The basic element is the block, made up of several cardboard plates trapping air like double glazing, and shuttered in wooden panels. These blocks are then assembled at the choice of the architect to form the walls, floor, ceiling and roof. 20 tonnes of recycled cardboard are needed for a 60 m² habitat. To harmonize the whole, and as in the case of a “classic” house, the final structure perfectly supports exterior coverings such as plaster, plaster or wood.

Thus realized, the cardboard house multiplies the ecological and economic advantages, sweeping away all forms of competition. Cardboard is in itself a model of sustainable management, while wood represents one of the flagship “eco-materials” in ecological work. These two materials are also largely recyclable - and already recycled for cardboard. It is therefore difficult to do better in terms of sustainable development, especially since the properties of wood and cardboard represent exceptionally effective thermal and acoustic insulators.

Similar to an underground dwelling, the cardboard house effectively regulates the ambient temperature, retaining warmth in winter and cool in summer. Energy expenditure is thus greatly limited - one of the objectives of RT2012 ( La Nouvelle Réglementation Thermique 2012) . Cardboard houses are also just as strong as any concrete habitat, resistant to earthquakes, and to fortiori to storms. Very dense and water-repellent, the walls also resist fire just as well or even better. Finally, economically, the cardboard house also challenges its opponents. Construction work is silent and generates very little non-recyclable waste. Prices vary between 1,300 and 1,400 euros per m² for a converted house.

A cardboard guest room unique in the world

If the concept of cardboard house is more advanced in Germany, in France the first achievements are recent, dating from the beginning of the years 2010. The instigator of this type of habitat is an Alsatian, Huber Lê, engaged in professional support of the disabled, who was inspired by the makeshift cardboard shelters of the homeless to develop this idea. Hubert Lê then designed the Mac-Home Alveolar Cardboard House made up of IPAC, sheets of cardboard sheets glued to each other.

This IPAC technique was used as the basis for the media construction of an all-cardboard house in 2014 in Belle-Île-en-Mer in Morbihan, carried out by the Guérande company Terra Nova, created by Alain Marboeuf. “ We have achieved what are called constructive principles ,” says Alain Marboeuf. That is to say, the assembly methodology, confident in the product, because we had feedback from it, with the constructions already carried out, on his own, by Hubert Lê.

As for Belle-Île-en-Mer, this is really a first because it is really the IPAC which holds the structure of the house . “Built in just ten days, the Belliloise house is now a cardboard guest room, the first building of this type in the world. Called " L'îlot en carton " and managed by Nicole and Alain Lenoble, the house has one floor and a master bedroom of 30 m², with all the comforts of a "classic" guest room.


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