Working through RT2012

These are the headings on the RT2012 form. 

  1. Administratif. This is where the address, owner details, and the cadastre info relating to the plot along with any third-party project management or architects are listed. 
  2. Surfaces. List the Surface S.RT (m²) and the Surface habitable (m²). The Surface S.RT can be calculated later – just put «à calculer» in the field.
  3. Enveloppe. For details about the exterior walls (façades), ground floor
    (plancher bas) and roof space (plancher haut) . This is all about insulation and how you plan to remove any thermal bridges.  Also any internal floors (plancher intermédiaire). If you have any external buildings (garage, etc.) you should also provide details.
  4. Ventilation. Here there is a list of products you can select from. This section assumes that your house is sealed to the outside and that  
    in order to maintain an ambient temperature in your home you will adjust the controls on your ventilation system rather than open a window. With a GREB house we are not sure this is necessary so have said as much on our initial submission. We stand to be corrected! If it is needed, we’ll be interested in the lowest tech, cheapest and least obtrusive system. The choices in this category are: Couple avec ECS (simple flux), Double flux, and Simple flux.
  5. Menuiseries. Windows. For this section it’s necessary to list the makes and the models along with the Uw values, if available. Also the same info for any doors to the exterior (portes d’entrées).
  6. Chauffage principal. This is for your main source(s) of heat. As I understand it a single log burner is permitted as the main heat source up to a maximum floor space of 100m2. If the house is larger than that additional heat sources are required. Because our current plan is 120m2, we’ve spec’d for electric radiators in the upstairs bedroom and in the bathroom. Whether we put them in or not…
  7. Chauffage secondaire. For any secondary heating systems that will be put in place.
  8. Eau chaude sanitaire (ecs). How will you heat your hot water? There are lots of options (Gas, solar, etc.) but we’ve decided on a thermodynamic boiler, which uses heat from the air to warm the water and is said to reduce water heating bills by up to 80%.
  9. Plan de masse. This is the position on the land showing N-S orientation, surrounding boundaries, etc.
  10. Plan de niveau. This is the floor plan.
  11. Plan de coupe. This is for the facades (north, south, east, west). 


Connecting Services

With things moving along it’s time to get our services connected. The seller had to pay the commune £3.5k (per plot – he had two) for the network to be extended past the plot as a condition of getting the CU, so we always figured that was a saving. Unfortunately, although the services are (for a change!) actually right on the border, they haven’t yet been connected: this is the difference between a plot that is sold as viabilised (viabilisé ) and one that is not (non-viabilisé): a very important thing to know before signing on the dotted line!

Saying that, it’s something we hadn’t worried too much about because of all the plots we’ve seen (of which I think only two were viabilisé) we were as close to the services and the road as could be. With the date for signing the act de vente approaching we decided it would be wise to find out – but then we got distracted by revising the planning application in attempt to mitigate the 1.8m foundatio fiasco!

Despite being put off by more paperwork, getting this part sorted out has, so far, been relatively simple. It helps that by drawing up the plans we have everything we need ready to send, so here’s how to go about it.

What services need to be connected?

For any new build you’ll need water, electricity, waste, and a phone line. Of these only the first on is required. If you’re going off grid, you won’t want to connect electricity, likewise if you’re using a septic tank you won’t need waste (assainissement) – and for phone there’s always the mobile network or satellite.

Connect your Building Plot

First steps – get a Devis

The first thing to is to approach the appropriate organisations for a quote – or devis. This is a formal quote which will give you the price to connect your plot. There is information about various sites about standard prices, but only way to know for sure – and the first step in getting connected – is to request a formal devis. Links and info on doing this for each of the services to be connected are below.

Drinking Water (l’eau potable)

For water – which you will definitely need for a straw bale build! – you first have to find out who provides it: in some cases it’s SAUR and in others it’s the local Mairie. In our case, it was the Mairie. Requesting devis in person is no good – you have to put your request in writng, which can also mean sending an email. Here’s a copy of the letter I “sent” (I say, sent because it involved handing it to the Secretary then him reading it) that you can use as a template.

In response I received letter back with the pricing and information about time scales: four weeks from the date of payment.

Waste (l’Assainisiment)

For us this provided by SAUR. If they’re also responsible for your water, you use the same form.

All this can be done electronically (phew!) and they even have a helpful video showing you how it all works.

You first visit their website and download the form:

Then it’s time to fill out the form. This is all the information you’d expect: where the plot is, whether you need water AND assainisiment or just one of the two.

In addition, you must provide some supporting documentation:

  • A copy of the planning notice (or a copy of the receipt for having deposited the notice). In our case, because we submitted the permis in the name of the vendor then completed a transfer to our names, I scanned and sent both documents.
  • A location plan, showing where the plot is (street map) in relation to the commune.
  • A plan de masse (also called a plan du projet) showing the cadastre parcel and the location of the buildings to be constructed along with access and how these will be connected to the services. This is a standard document that you were required to submit as part of the the planning application (PCM12), so you will already have this somewhere.

With those three documents and the form in PDF format, you go to this page on the SAUR site and fill out the form. Attach the documents, fill out the CAPTCHA field, then submit the info. That’s it!

Connecting Electricity

This one is work in progress for me. It seems like a very convoluted process (I’ve so far been round in a circle, hence the delay) and is therefore worthy of it’s own post! Once I get somewhere, I’ll update the info here.

In short, your starting point is Enedis.

Photo by Luis Tosta on Unsplash