Health and comfort: the human factor

Published by La rédaction C21

With almost 200 case studies from 36 different countries, the 2019 Green Solutions Awards provided a fine example of what is being done today to build more sustainable cities and territories. First opus of our trend analysis.

1.1. Residential: indoor air quality and thermal comfort become important

While well-being in buildings seemed to be a concept reserved for the tertiary sector, the residential sector is taking up this issue year after year. Indoor air quality and thermal comfort are taken into account in renovation or rehabilitation projects. This phenomenon is visible in collective buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s or during the 20th century, such as in the heritage renovations of longhouses such as in Lurais or in terrace houses. The particularity of this consideration lies in the adoption of simple and inexpensive solutions that correspond to often tense economic realities.

For air quality and energy efficiency, the humidity sensitive CMV with heat exchanger, remains the solution presented as optimal. However, even in exemplary homes, it is not always present. Some projects in temperate climates even revert to natural ventilation, such as the Florestine Residence. Concerning the rehabilitation of old buildings, which is a major challenge in rural and peri-urban areas, we also note the use of bio-based materials, emitting few harmful sustances, to solve the hygrometric difficulties caused by mould. These problems are inherent to the use of ancestral building materials and mixed constructions. Here, the novelty lies in the wider dissemination of instructions for the use of biosourced materials and systematic feedback on pilot buildings (cf. Lurais).

In condominiums or multi-orientated collective buildings, the other issue is thermal comfort. Often neglected through renovations that focus only on energy efficiency, it is nowadays widely taken into account to regulate temperature differences between homes. There has been a slight development in the differentiated insulation of façades according to their exposure to the sun and the appearance of sometimes rudimentary but effective systems, connected or not, to regulate heating. Above all, the valuation of taking into account user feedback on thermal comfort allows organizations and condominiums to refine or adapt the heating temperature as soon as the boiler leaves the building.

Farmhouse in Lurais

Consult the case study  

Florestine Residence 

Consult the case study

La Reine's Residence: Global Renovation with Shared Roof

Consult the case study 

1.2. Tertiary and educational building: the trend is continuing

As a precursor to respecting the human factor and taking into account occupancy cycles, the tertiary sector continues to offer innovative solutions. The highly technological trend of the connected building nevertheless systematically puts the user at the heart of research, with the generalization of solutions (but also of speeches) allowing the average user to take control. This is a relatively complex area that requires, in particular, ensuring that the latter complies with the rules of use that allow maximum comfort and energy efficiency. The best examples are the Wave building or Greenpeace's headquarters in Spain.

In educational buildings, the emphasis on directives is accompanied by an increasingly important consideration of air quality. In addition, comfort has also been taken into account over time with buildings delivered according to standards recently set by local authorities, which benefit from initial feedback. The comfort taken into account is that of all users, both school users and maintenance staff. In addition, the spaces are designed for new social or educational uses.

WAVE - VINCI Energies headquarters

Consult the case study 

Greenpeace's Headquarters in Spain 

Consult the case study 

1.3. Plants and logistics centers: a first

An important element of the 2019 Green Solutions Awards is the massive influx of candidates presenting factories or logistics centres. This seems to be the best evidence of the need to highlight exemplary cases to encourage the adoption of sustainable solutions in all sectors. Whether in France, Luxembourg, Sri Lanka or India, the issue is taken into account and is nowadays considered as an economic added value for landlords, but also at the time of hiring for the companies occupying the premises.

From biosourced to natural ventilation to redesigned workspaces, the range of improvements is vast. Above all, they are not automatically associated with an exclusive search for labelling, as explained by the stakeholders. This is an encouraging sign for buildings that have long been considered uncomfortable and energy consuming by default.

Waste collection logistics base

Consult the case study

Indospace Industrial Park Vallam

Consult the case study 

POST Luxembourg - Roost Logistics Center

Consult the case study 

Star Innovation Center passive factory project

Consult the case study 


Moderated by : Izadora Alcanfôr

Other news in "Information"

Decarbonizing Europe: time to turn up the heat!

Published 14 Aug 2019 - 11:55

Decarbonizing the heat sector is imperative to meeting carbon emissions reduction objectives across Europe. However, progress so far has been sluggish in most European countries. Sweden is an exception with 80% of its heat coming from (...)

If we want liveable cities in 2060 we'll have to work together to transform urban systems

Published 13 Aug 2019 - 11:16

Urban greening is just one aspect of the transformation required to ensure our future cities are sustainable, liveable places. Matt Leane/Shutterstock Tayanah O'Donnell, Australian National University; Bob Webb, Australian National (...)

Riding in the right direction: a Turkish city goes back to cycling

Published 13 Aug 2019 - 11:02

Tepebaşı is a town of Eskişehir in western Turkey embracing a return to urban cycling albeit with a novelty – the bikes are electric A few decades ago, the town enjoyed a relatively high proportion of non-motorised transport due its (...)


Comments





Search through the news

Enter your own key word



Other news



Categories


Most read articles