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In the UK, Wales has the reputation for being more open to alternative methods of house-building such as straw-bale, rammed earth, cob, round-houses and 'earthships'.
Does anyone know if there is a department in France where the authorities take a similar view?
 

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I can't remember which Department it was in, (West/S/W I think), but there was one of the 'Brits Moving Abroad' TV programmes which featured a guy who built a straw house.

Have a 'Google' aund & look on Youtube, etc.
 

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Silfiac in Brittany has an Eco village and is very progressive. I was told that there are more straw bale houses in France than any other country, so I'm guessing that a lot of departments are open to the possibility.

I have found the building control regulations less strict than the UK, but the planning permission process more complicated!

The straw bale house mentioned by Clic Clac is here: www.strawbalefrance.com - A grand design He also wrote a book on the process!

Google "construire une maison en paille", there is lots of information. Its becoming more popular as straw meets the new thermal regulations.

Good luck,
Gypsycob x
 

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They have been showing features on the French evening news about straw bales and other alternative building techniques quite a bit recently. Not sure it's even a matter of which departements will or won't go for it, as the State is pushing a number of reforms when it comes to building codes and such. And actually, some mairies are making a big push for ecological projects.

As Gypsycob says, it's not so much the regulations as the planning process itself. This is where it can come in real handy to have a friend or three at the mairie. Find a town that boasts a town council member charged with environmental concerns and make some friends. (Lord, in our town, the local counsellor for the Environment and Sustainable Development would be a valuable ally in such a project! But we're in pretty close to Paris and probably not at all the sort of area you're looking for.)
Cheers,
Bev
 
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