Ponlat

Le Village, Ponlat-Taillebourg, Haute Garonne


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straw wall

The building project


The project comprised the refurbishment of a traditional farmhouse (for the third time in 250 years) and the conversion into a house of a 1960’s cow-shed, together with the repair of outbuildings.  The aim of project has been to combine traditional methods and materials with modern science. 

Colombage, the traditional French half-timbered construction, has been adapted for external cladding and internal partitions and provides excellent insulation; Pyrennean hardwood slabs are screwed to battens and the gaps are filled with a light mixture of rye straw and clay (for insulation and heat storage) and then finished off with a render of aerial or hydraulic lime.  The slabs are sawn true and true, including their wainey edges, which help to retain the lime render.  

The decorative balconies, traditional to this area, have been re-instated.


Solar panels beside the swimming pool provide hot water and heating, with surplus heat going to the pool to extend the season.  Underfloor- and wall-heating utilise this solar heat.  There is also a sand filtration bed for the septic tank.


colombage stages