Ma Petite Maison Verte

Eco-Responsible Tiny Housing Constructed Using Durable Recycled Cardboard

Founder, CEO

Benjamin Bajal

Technical director

Anna-Ketsia Plesel

Location:

Awarded:

Areas:

Paris, France

Spring 2020

Learning, Sustainability

MaPetiteMaisonVerte (MPMV) is a startup that builds energy-saving and affordable modular tiny houses made from a 100% recycled cardboard material within 3 weeks time. The innovative material (IPAC®) is produced in local social centers by workers with disabilities.

Quick facts
  • Housing construction causes heavy depletion of non-renewable resources (i.e., sand, gravel, and water used to make concrete blocks).
  • 1 ton of concrete emits 900 kilograms of CO2. A 100 m2 house needs 8 tons of concrete. That CO2 amount is equivalent to driving a car 1.1 million kilometers (30 times around the world).
  • Each year, 20% of concrete blocks produced in France are not recycled = 4 million tons of concrete waste.
  • 2 to 4 months are needed for wooden tiny home constructions and 8 to 12 months for concrete tiny home constructions.
  • Most homes have weak insulation = significant energy consumption.
  • IPAC® constructions are recyclable and as resistant as concrete, and 30% more energy-saving.

Sources: NRMCA, BAT’IPAC

Benjamin and Anna-Ketsia met when they were children growing up in Martinique. Benjamin brings the business expertise and Anna-Ketsia is focused on the technical aspects. The drive behind creating this startup stems from a desire to make positive social and environmental impact in the construction industry, and it’s clear they’re starting to do just that.

The biggest innovation behind MaPetiteMaisonVerte is their 100% recycled material used for the walls, roof, partitions, floor, and external lining of the tiny homes. IPAC® is made of layered alveolar cardboard sheets covered with a wind, fire, and water resistant membrane. It provides great insulation while isolating (noise reduction = 44 db). Amazingly, IPAC® has a shelf life of 100 years, similar to that of concrete. It is also extremely sturdy; it holds several tons of mechanical strength! This material has been used in many construction types during the past several years (houses, apartment buildings, schools, etc.) and has already proved itself durable.

The tiny homes can be equipped with solar panels, green roofs and phyto-purification systems, so they are not only respectful of the environment, but also energy efficient. MPMV also offer their customers a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and construction.

Despite the strong reputation of direct and indirect competing tiny house manufacturers, MPMV presents an innovative solution due to its social commitment and ecological materials. Their current target market is first-time home buyers and young low-income people in Île-de-France (Paris metro area). In this region, despite the tense real estate market trend and high demand, there are many “non-buildable” lands for sale or rent which do allow the installation of tiny houses. Tiny homes are considered “light and removable habitats” under the law and can therefore be installed on non-buildable land.

Beyond the environmental aspect, MaPetiteMaisonVerte is committed to social reintegration by entrusting the IPAC® production to workers with disabilities. In the coming years, they would also like to engage in humanitarian work and propose adapted and sustainable housing solutions to vulnerable populations (reconstruction areas, developing countries, etc.).

The $2,000 Stardust grant is funding part of the cost of the IPAC® for the first MPMV tiny house prototype. The cost of the material for one home is €7,000 in total.

“We are excited to see that our innovative project to drive social and environmental change in the construction industry is getting international support.”

–  The MPMV Team