Zero Carbon Building Taking stock

When it comes to environmental impact, buildings are at the top of the list. As France’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, buildings have a long way to go for their energy transition. Find out the latest from Overkiz on the Zero Carbon approach, the SNBC’s objectives, and the advent of smart building.

A comprehensive approach to carbon neutrality

Construction, which accounts nearly 45% of the world’s total energy and emissions, is undeniably important in the fight against climate change.

Neither label nor legislation, the concept of a “zero carbon building” is a multifaceted approach to coming as close to carbon neutrality as possible by improving a site’s energy and environmental performance.

Its impact extends far beyond the only energy consumed by the building, encompassing material production and processing, transportation, recycling policy, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction. Before a place’s carbon balance can be reduced, its entire lifecycle and each of its components must be taken into consideration.

Although there are regional tools (such as Totem in Belgium) and specific labels (Zero Carbon Shipyard) available, we recognize that the goal of neutrality is complex and can be achieved only through a holistic approach that involves all the sector’s stakeholders at each stage of the process.

The roadmap: SNBC

Since 2015, the SNBC (Stratégie Nationale Bas Carbone [National Low Carbon Strategy]) has been the French government’s roadmap for achieving the zero carbon target by 2050.

The objectives and means were listed by sector, including the building sector.

> Current actions

In addition to the 500,000 planned renovations of the existing fleet per year, actions to improve the energy performance of future buildings are based on the new RE2020 regulations. These regulations are centered on three objectives:

  • ŸPrioritize energy efficiency (“positive energy building”, insulation, etc.)
  • ŸReduce the carbon impact of construction (bio-based materials, alternatives to fossil fuels, etc.)
  • Keep the indoors cool in times of high heat (solutions for motorized and automated sun protection, green roofs, etc.)

> Expected result

  • 49% reduction in GHG emissions in 2030 (compared to 2015)
  • ŸTotal decarbonization in 2050

The era of intelligence and resilience

More broadly, buildings lie at the heart of an evolving environment. Beyond the need for clean buildings and renovations, climate change demands that we respond to new challenges with resilience and intelligence.

Between smart cities and meteorological upheavals, new ways of building emerge when we stop to consider all the natural factors that affect the built environment in order to ensure that it works well in all circumstances and integrates with the digital city.

From bioclimatic facades that optimize the exchange of heat between indoor and outdoor areas to remote management and automation, interoperability of sensors with smart devices (solar protection, cooling systems, alarms, etc.), predictive maintenance, and more, smart buildings offer up new hope at the dawn of a new era in construction.

The Smart Building market will be worth $128 billion by 2027 and grow by 12% per year

(forecasted by Qualcomm Technologies)

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