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A Wooden House without Nails (France)

Credits: ©2017 Solaripedia

Brikawood is a building method that consists of wooden “bricks” that stack together without nails or glue, and achieves Passive House standards. Passive houses built of Brikawood wood bricks typically consume 90% less heating energy than most existing buildings, and 50% less than new homes according to most current standards. The Brikawood passive building is based on a low energy consumption concept, based on the use of passive heat from the sun, and strong insulation, plus an absence of thermal bridges, high air tightness and ventilation control, plus energy-efficient appliances. Brikawood has been tested for regions with harsh or a southern climate, such as the zone between France, Norway and Reunion Island, Canada or the Pacific. For heating, the passive house uses all available sources of heat (sun, inhabitants, household appliances, etc.), extreme insulation of exterior walls, roof and floor, and double or triple glazed windows to help keep the heat inside. Fresh air is supplied by controlled mechanical ventilation (VMC), which recovers heat from the outgoing air to warm the incoming air. Insulation is wood chips or blown wool or cellulose wool that fills the cavities of the wood bricks. The insulation chips are produced from the wood brick machining, which allows Brikawood to tend towards zero waste.


Brikawood Small Brick

Brikawood is a building method that consists of wooden “bricks” that stack together without nails or glue, and can achieve Passive House standards. ©2017 Brikawood

To ensure comfort in both summer and winter, the passive house Brikawood has been designed to avoid uncontrolled ("parasitic") losses, especially hot air. The passive house Brikawood also does not provide thermal bridges - those places where the heat escapes faster and needlessly that are generally due to a non-airtight assembly of the load-bearing elements of the building. The passive house Brikawood reduced these areas of wastage drastically, achieving a pleasant interior climate without heating or air conditioning.

Financially , the Brikawood house is a good compromise between total cost of operation and investment.

The comfort criteria must be respected in all living quarters, both winter and summer, and usually involves the following conditions:

• The U-value (heat loss coefficient) must be less than 0.15W / (m²K) for opaque partitions

• Double-walled paneling with wood wool

• The U-value of windows and other translucent walls shall be less than 0.8 W / (m²K)

The translucent/transparent walls (windows, etc.) with a west or east orientation (± 50 °), as well as those with an inclination of less than 75 ° (relative to the horizontal), must not represent more than 15% of the habitable surface. Otherwise, they must be equipped with a temporary sun protection (shutter, curtain) with a protection factor of 75%.

For windows oriented to the south, the limit is set at 25% of the useful area.

• The air temperature at the inlet of the parts must not fall below 17 ° C

• Uniform air circulation in all rooms (ventilation efficiency)

• The ventilation must contribute to high indoor air quality (DIN 1946)

• The noise caused by the ventilation must be low (less than 25bDa)

The principles of passive houses:

• Good protection against heat

• South orientation without thermal bridge and absence of shadow: use of passive solar;

• High-performance glazing and window frames

• Airtightness

• Recovery of heat from outgoing air of higher than 75%

• Energy-saving appliances

• Passive heating of the air: optional: geothermal, winter air temperature above 5 ° C.

After 10 years of research and development, 10 patents and tests with CRITT Bois agréée CSTB and NRC (National Research and Technology Council ORT in Canada), Brikawood wood brick is considered a proven technology. The brick consists of four wooden elements, two lateral flanges and two transverse spacers (spacers), machined in "dovetail" which are assembled together, by interlocking, thus giving a mechanical rigidity to the assembly.

The Brikawood brick is intended to be used alone, without cladding, rain cover or vapor barrier, only a special check valve specific to Brikawood, simplifying as much as possible the implementation of any type of construction, while ensuring performance and waterproofing.

Wooden bricks allow homogeneity of the walls and floor, and the solid wood interior regulates the hygrometry of the house. The solid wood exterior absorbs heat in summer to prevent internal overheating.

The wood fiber insulation ensures the thermal performance, providing a compromise between the "Norwegian Finnish Canadian" log house and a timber frame house.

The bricks (models 125 and 250) are assembled with little tooling by trained and certified Brikawood fitters. The system does not require the use of lifting or polluting equipment and has a minimum level of space requirement. Fully recyclable, the brick is 100% natural from the beginning to the end of its operating cycle.

The Brikawood wood brick has incomparable thermal, mechanical, acoustic and anti-seismic properties. Brikawood typically uses FSC certified Douglas fir - trees that can grow to 40 to 60 meters on average and several meters in diameter.

The construction process is a logical system of load-bearing walls, based on the assembly of stacked, interlocking wooden bricks without fastening.

The bricks are held together by the spacers which give the wall a mechanical coherence and dimensional stability. The system is self-tightening, brings and offers structural rigidity through the mass effect.

The process eliminates any rise in moisture by the absence of "standing wood" in contact with the soil. It adapts to the construction of individual houses, industrial premises, collective habitats, extensions, elevations, separation walls.

For foundations, Brikawood uses the "Techno Pieux" screwed pile that acts as a large screw which is installed in the ground by a specialized machine until it reaches the depth for the required bearing capacity according to the structure requirements.

The entire assembly process has been studied in compliance with the DTU (Unified Technical Documents in France) for wood construction. It has been validated by the wood CRITT. The Brikawood Wall Kit makes it possible to design any type of habitat with all possible types of roofing.


  Brikawood Plan (482 kb)


Brikawood Manufacturing


Brikawood House of Wooden Bricks