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Introduction

Many images come to mind when you say the words "ecological house". There are 1001 ways to dream, design and build such a habitat.

Some will think of technological systems, such as geothermal energy or solar panels. Others will associate it with artisanal construction techniques and natural materials, such as straw and hemp. Some will dream of a house in the countryside and facing the earth, while others will think of eco-districts or densified urban housing.

At Belvedair, our "raison d'être" is that everyone can, in line with their priorities and their lifestyle, make informed and ecological choices for their habitat. We want green building to become the norm, and for that we have explored many techniques and processes over time, and are always on the lookout for innovations. So over time, we've explored straw and hemp constructions, installed solar panels, rainwater harvesting equipment, composting toilets, and more. All interesting experiences that bring about change. But also including their share of flaws when the goal is to make ecological construction accessible, simplified, less expensive.

Some techniques have proven to be complex in terms of maintenance and upkeep, others are long and therefore expensive to implement, etc. This is how we returned to the essential question: what really makes the difference? In the Quebec context, with very specific energy and climate issues, what are the truly logical options and choices?

Our goal is that as many people as possible can choose to opt for an ecological habitat. This means we have to simplify. Why make it complicated when you can make it simple, durable, less expensive, and therefore more accessible? This is what we work with, and it works!

We called this approach: the ten steps.