Eco-Responsible Maison de l'Argentier du Roy

May we do it, are we all really able to.?

Since the 1980s, we have always applied these rules which seem obvious to us: save money, avoid waste, recycle, add value, pollute as little as possible.
Today, the subject is even more urgent, becoming aware of the importance of sustainable development for the future of our societies and our planet has become vital.:
  • This is a global issue for the very survival of the human species, in the medium term; and everyone can, at their own level, try to influence this common future by trying to think about it and act.
  • We therefore tried, from the start of the restoration of La Maison de l'Argentier du Roy, to continue to apply it, for its "Renaissance" of this House built more than 500 years ago.. .. where the concern for its sustainability also seems essential to us.
  • Constantly, during each phase of restoration, we have therefore favored old techniques, natural, noble and ancient materials, while preparing the House for new developments, favoring the notions of comfort, for a Gite and Bed and Breakfast of Charm, worthy of this country of Chateaux de la Loire, and without neglecting the modern and future high technologies, which can help:
  • This subject has always touched us, since very young.
  • Integrate eco-responsibility parameters as much as possible, working universally to revise our approach to production and consumption.
  • Here, to judge, is the inventory of our initiatives & actions, (not exhaustive...because it is constantly evolving - we update it regularly) to try to sustainably develop this self-catering (and we try to raise awareness among our guests "global", in fact, to this citizen approach (or; because the common future of our planet Earth depends on it...)
    Without sacrificing modern comfort, quite the contrary... to prove that there is no regression but:
  • ... evolution with always, the best compromise... while remaining individually responsible for our daily actions (the 0% effect would be impossible, in any case; as soon as we breathe, we begin to pollute CO² ...).
  • Assemble everything wisely, to leave future generations with a sustainable world while reducing our waste and our greenhouse gas emissions, while saving natural resources and our budget..!.
  • List of Actions - from our arrival , and on going - Most of were made by ourselves. First Results :

    We can say we are :

    eco-manage Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsible
  • less than 94 Kwh /year
  • qualified as "better than very good", by thermic and performance specialists.

    - Positive -

  • in 20 years, our total natural gas consumption has been divided by... 2
  • with, since 2021 (= insulated our attics with very high insulation), - 20% additional savings
  • despite greater occupancy of rooms, all year round
  • especially in winter, with more heating for the comfort of guests

  • A more than satisfactory result for a 500 year old House..!

    - realistic -

    eco-management Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsible

    - econo-logical -

  • 80% recycled organic
  • = less waste collected
  • recycle Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsible

    eco-manage Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsibleManagement of temperature + indoor humidity and Heating

  • Major insulation work, progressively since 2003, and constant, has made it possible to better manage/conserve heat, and now allows general use of the House, very comfortable during the winter:
  • Interior isoperimetric insulation, multiple shapes and materials (rock wool, high density polyurethane, extruded or condensed polystyrene, vermiculite, multi-layer composites, plus new woodwork sometimes, or stretched isothermal and fleece fabrics).
  • Exterior hygrometric insulation of all the facades (nearly 1500m² of surface area, done by ourselves during our renovations--> and by a small personal experiment of which we are quite proud... and of the double results..! ), by non-water repellent hydrophobic treatment, of tuffeau stone facades, to keep them dry on the surface, while remaining hygrometric for the internal respect of the stone, and block the natural thermal bridge (with, as a bonus, the advantage, to stay clean: each rain cleans the surface dust without embedding it in the stone, or wetting it deeply)
  • Very high insulation of the 400m² of roofs and attics (30cm of wood wool, 15h phase shift, R = 7.5)
  • The humidity of the house is always monitored at all times, in various locations.
    It oscillates between 45% and 68%, and is dehumidified(*) beyond (rainy period)
    (*)the water thus “demineralized” is recovered and stored. It is perfect for steam ironing. Mixed with concentrated and perfectly balanced organic nutrients, vegetable garden seedlings are 100% successful. Indoor plants love it too.
  • Reinforced insulation of room ceilings, thermal and...soundproofing of rooms (by additional ceilings + rock wool or condensed and ventilated polyurethane).
  • The gradual change of all the frames, with identical aesthetics, (very high insulation 4-18-4, inter argon gas, low emissivity, double condensation chamber, exotic wood, 3 to 5 closing points. ..) or (personally manufactured in CTBX exotic wood plywood frames 30mm + very thick glass - 10mm- for the tower holes, for example, and opening this time, to be able to clean the exterior) combined with the installation ourselves, according to the rules of the art, without neglecting the quality of installation, with high quality insulating and durable products. The savings generated have already reimbursed their entire cost (around 40 windows and patio doors changed, to date)
  • Reinforcement of the 8 landing doors of the towers, by adding "Swiss" thresholds, and full perimeter oak rebate with double soundproof door blocks sometimes.
    • Remplacement in 2009**, of central heater old from 1994, by a new generation of gas condensing high performance, high efficency (109%.!) , recovery of heat from flue gases at maximum, and very low pollutant discharges gices it the classification of ecological boiler.
    • - coupled with a sophisticated computer programming, we have adapted our selves, minutely "custom & variable" depending on the occupation
    • - each room is individually controlled, in addition, individual thermostat
    • - all controlled automatically by exterior temperature captor

    eco-manage Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsibleEnergy management

  • All the bulbs in the House (more than 200) are low consumption and LED (warm light)
  • Integration of LEDs in technical parts (hard light)
  • Integration of instantaneous LEDs, in circulation
  • Presence detectors (9) for lighting staircases, passageways, access corridors; all equipped with 1mn 30seconds timer.
  • Energy management contract in intelligent and rigorous ways (based on 3 rates, off-peak hours and peak hours, and “super off-peak” hours (PHEV Car charge) ** the automatic heating time settings of our 3 hot water tanks are the most economical depending on the occupancy of the House.
    ** Induction Cooking and rapid reheating in Microwaves in the Kitchen as much as possible.
    ** Delayed start programming for all household washing appliances: dishwasher, 12kg washing machine,
    ** Replacement of all Fridges & freezers. in class AAA++
    **Disconnections of unused devices at night
    ** Disconnection of the wifi network at night, between 1.30am and 7.30am
    ** Slow and long cooking, from 10 p.m., at an eco price.
    ** Sterilization of jars, scheduled, from 1.00 am at the super-eco rate
  • Free supply of Wood (without limit) to guests of the Gite during the winter months for the heat recovery insert (they always have the choice with electric heating, nothing is obligatory, but awareness of environmental problems, the desire to try, and the charm of a good old-fashioned fireplace, is often enough to rediscover common sense reflexes...
  • eco-manage Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsibleWater

    Fluid management
  • Raising awareness of water management, in each bathroom, for the use of towels during long stays..

  • Savings on mixer taps,

  • Double flow on all toilet flushes in the House.

  • all new plumbing is multi-layered, anti-scale, anti-freeze, with a lifespan of over 50 years, anti-UV, anti-oxygen, without diffusion of harmful oxides (copper oxide/carbonate is a poison including for the environment)

  • Total elimination of lead pipes

  • Water management, Gardens:
  • We connected the roofs to our terrace gutter, created to recover almost all rainwater from the roofs; which now ensures us total and free autonomy, watering ALL our gardens (0 cl of water from the public network used, over the last 24 years..!, and vegetables from the vegetable garden watered without chlorinated water..!). .

  • Everything is stored in several permanent reserves in the vegetable garden, totaling nearly 8000 l.

  • eco-manage Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsibleWaste Management, Resource Recycling

  • All the old wood dismantled (damaged parquet floors, broken stairs, boards, cupboard doors stored in the attics, etc.) were cleaned, recut and re-used as much as possible in the restoration of the House. (Weren't the 16th century frames, already mortised in places, already re-cycling of older frames...?), in accordance with the spirit of economy of the ancients.

  • We massively buy back old furniture for their “wood material value” of almost 100 years, often, but at ridiculous prices; to dismantle them piece by piece, and re-cycle their moldings, angles, sculptures, cornices, patterns, columns, handles and decorative sconces in bronze, marble, beveled glass, patinated two-tone mirror, etc... very useful in decoration or creation (...medieval canopies, radiator covers, bathroom vanity units, or tourist leaflet displays...).

  • All the scrap wood from the work is sorted, and the remaining after years of interior work, and unusable, were used to heat the cottage for a whole winter... in its heat recovery insert.

  • lime rubble and broken tiles were used as backfill under the new paths and terraces.

    • all the tuffeau stone blocks, removed when the exterior door of the cottage was drilled, were preserved (and stored for a long time as flower pot holders in the garden...):

    • - for base wall repair veneers,

    • - reconstruction and carving of the garage door,

    • - the reconstruction-sculpture of the cottage's fireplace,

    • - and the 2 facades of the destroyed fireplaces of the Charles VII and Agnès Sorel rooms

  • All the old paving stones of the 16th century courtyard, unfortunately "jointed with cement" in the 1960s, were cleaned, one by one, with a jackhammer, and reused in old-fashioned repaving, ...with sand, of this superb interior courtyard..

  • All the dust from the renovations reused as backfill and grouting of the paving stones in the courtyard.

  • All the interior paving stones of the stable, dismantled before pouring the consolidation slab of the ground floor of the gite) and re-laid in a new exterior terrace reserved for the gite.
  • all fixed furniture and woodwork have been dismantled, repaired or re-used in other areas of the House

  • The old door frames, and their old latches, stripped, cleaned and re-used according to the restorations.

  • A compost is set up behind the vegetable garden for food waste.

  • The plants are crushed and/or used to mulch the beds; the clippings are also distributed as mulch to reduce evaporation, and reduce watering in summer.

  • eco-manage Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsibleHealth & Well-being

    We are constantly raising awareness, in explanations, of this logic with customers and visitors to encourage them to adopt better behaviors for their health and well-being, by showing them the advantages of:
  • Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables, locally produced, and prefer the best local producers of good products (duck, foie gras, cheeses, wines, markets, etc.)

  • Buy ORGANIC and Local, as much as possible, for flavors, verifiable traceability and... by another logic, ethical and virtuous, to support another, more responsible agriculture..

  • Practice regular physical activity with the garden and its maintenance, as well as all the work of restoring the house

  • Cultivate our totally organic vegetable garden with as many simple and essential products as possible for taste: our salads and kilos of tomatoes, zucchini, beans, eggplant, potatoes, peppers, onions, radishes and all our aromatics (savory, rosemary, dill, mint, basil, parsley, sage, licorice, tarragon, chives, thyme, etc.)
    Fruits also come directly from the vegetable garden. (our Kiwi, strawberry and raspberry jams are made from our fruits, and our various grapes participate in the Breakfast)

  • eco-manage Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsibleRecycle and recycle

  • 4 compost stations in the garden, recycle plants, and vegetable stalks, to enrich the vegetable garden.
  • A “Compost” container at the cottage encourages guests to participate, by sorting and emptying their plant remains.
  • Raising our chickens also helps, to also have totally ORGANIC eggs (we only give them ORGANIC flocks, and ORGANIC seeds), and fresh daily...for our Breakfast pastries.

  • eco-manage Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsibleSince 2015, Use a Rechargeable Hybrid vehicle, SUV 4x4 utility vehicle, as well as 2 electric mountain bikes.

    eco-manage Bed and breakfast - self catering eco responsible Future Projects:

    Different alternative production methods will be gradually studied and implemented, in the event of possible additional gains:
    • - Reinforced and recycled dual-flow ventilation,

    • - Solar water heaters,

    • - Geothermal energy by drawing calories (constant 12° summer-winter) from our “secret” underground.