Completely different brick buildings with a common goal
Porotherm Climamur 30
Shades of clay
When temperatures rise, sophisticated planning alone is not enough – ecological and efficient insulating materials are a must. In France, two different projects satisfied these requirements with self-insulating clay blocks, which are made entirely from natural materials.
Different, but one common goal
These two brick buildings in France could not be more different – completely different climatic conditions, completely different purposes, but a common goal: highly efficient thermal insulation and precise indoor temperature management. Their respective designers chose the same self-insulating brick, which is filled with natural wool and is not only environmentally friendly, but also provides exceptional thermal performance.
Cool comfort in the provençal summer
Temperatures in Provence, in the south of France, can quickly climb to above 40 degrees Celsius in the summer. Since 2018, the small town of Istres, near Marseilles, has been home to the gated residential development ‘Le Clos d‘Enghun’ with its 57 apartment buildings and a dozen small villas. Each home has its own terrace or private garden, and they have been designed to withstand the hottest summer temperatures. ‘Effective measures are needed to create a real sense of wellbeing in the hot Provençal summers’, says architect Gérard Mincone.
With that in mind, alongside the self-insulating clay Porotherm Climamur block, the Marseilles-based architectural firm, Midi Architecture, also created shade by constructing terraces and using traditional bright colours for façades. ‘We use the thermal inertia of the Climamur blocks to keep the rooms cool long into the evening’, explains architect Mincone. The natural building material also maintains a healthy indoor climate.
„Effective measures are needed to create a real sense of wellbeing in the hot Provençal summers." so Gérard Mincone. "We use the thermal inertia of the Climamur blocks to keep the rooms cool long into the evening."
„As a vintner, I have a close relationship with the earth and I am as respectful as possible towards it. So, I can’t imagine using anything other than neutral, clean materials that are manufactured locally.“ - Jean-Pierre Michel
Regulating temperatures for the wine maturation process
Around 400 kilometres north, in the commune of Quintaine-Clessé, the winemaker Jean-Pierre Michel used the same brick in response to a completely different challenge. He built an above-ground wine cellar for his wine barrels, which are highly sensitive to temperature: the barrels need to be kept at constant temperatures for 18 months, from maturation to bottling.
So, he was looking for particularly effective insulation materials and suitable brick manufacturers in the region. He found a factory in Pont-de-Vaux, just 20 minutes from his winery, which produces the clay bricks filled with insulating rock wool. ‘As a vintner, I have a close relationship with the earth and I am as respectful as possible towards it. So, I can’t imagine using anything other than neutral, clean materials that are manufactured locally’, he says. Michel proudly indicates the materials he used on the exposed brick façade, proving that a brick building can provide perfect insulation.
Data & facts
Project name: Le Clos d‘Enghun, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France