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So, we have found a friendly architect who is doing drawings for us. Well actually he is a student architect who has jumped at the opportunity to earn beer money. Fantastic, we like.

Also got a structural engineer onboard who is going to design the roof. Martin Ward is happy to be paid in wine! So it is all coming together.

Next steps are to get a tools list together and acquire a small generator from somewhere so that we can use power tools etc in the spring. Oh yeh, the plan is to get out there for a month in May time and do a load of work in preparation for putting a roof on in the Autumn.

Watch this space! 

Eco Concepts


Essentially we are starting with a very solid but basic shell of a building with no power, water, sewage, post box and most of a roof. The intention is to fix it up in such a way that it can be self sufficient once the roof is fixed. For us this is quite a challenge and has meant we have done some research en route already. This we propose to share in this category. We know that we will have to do loads more and no doubt we will have to overcome a few issues as well.

In documenting these and also identifying sources of information and support, then hopefully it will become a valuable resource for others attempting similar projects. Immediate thinking includes use of:

  • Solar power using Photo Voltaics
  • Wind power
  • Water Power (using the stream)
  • Heat Sink (need to learn loads on this one)
  • Thermal mass
  • Solar heating (hot air)
  • Solar heating (water)
  • Composting toilets
  • Filter / Reed beds (not sure the climate will make this a feasible option)
  • Carbon footprints
Categories: Ecofriendly Matters

The Purchase

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Things in France just seem to take time. So we have finally sent money over to complete the purchase of the Bergerie. Now we wait for something to come back.

We spent about ten days over there in October and measured up as best we could. We also managed to get a couple of really great walks in around the valley. See the photos below. The alpine meadow was covered in naturalised crocus flowers and although one arm of the stream running through the property seemed dried up, when we walked up the valley there was tons of water flowing. Where it goes we just don't know. The area is limestone though so we may have to put a well in? We also came accross a donkey trying very hard not to be found. 

  Donkey HidingDonkey Hiding Upstream sculpted limestone  Upstream waterfallUpstream waterfall  Upstream sculpted limestone

Next steps:

  • Get plans drawn up having been out and taken loads of measurements
  • A friendly Structural Engineer is then gonna come up with a plan for the replacement roof (old slate)
  • Then try and track down a friendly Quantity Surveyor to give us a steer on labour and a materials list
  • Lastly get out there and start some works

In The Beginning…

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