What technical characteristics must buildings have in order to comply with the Paris Agreements and move towards carbon neutrality by 2050? This is the question that the French Institute for Building Performance (IFPEB) wanted to answer in a new publication available online, the outlines of which we define here.
First of all, the IFPEB specifies: "the concept of carbon neutrality is physically impossible on the scale of a building" . It is nevertheless possible to considerably and immediately reduce the environmental impact of a building by following certain guidelines and operational guidelines, and that is what we are talking about here.
Stressing the need to accelerate the pace of decarbonization in France, still far from the objective set for 2030 then 2050, the IFPEB also recalls the strong role that buildings have to play in this race: indeed, 33% of greenhouse gas emissions are linked to the construction sector. The problem? The unbalanced balance between renovations and constructions , the former still too rare and the latter accelerating inexorably.
To reverse the trend, the IFPEB recommends moving towards a model of "Carbon Neutral" Compatible Buildings, which respect these different criteria defined by Carbone 4: they reduce their GHG emissions as much as possible, help other buildings to do so , and contribute to increasing carbon sinks (natural absorption and/or storage of CO2 emitted on Earth).
Here are the 3 levers to be activated gradually and operationally to achieve this:
- Intensify uses to move towards more sobriety in real estate, by reducing the need for m²: more sharing, more quality of use
- Reduce the consumption of energy resources and materials, for example through reuse or recycling
- Consuming resources differently , in particular favoring renewable energies and biosourced materials
The IFPEB also underlines the importance of the evaluation and projection of buildings in terms of carbon footprint: also, it is not necessary to want at all costs to display a zero impact, but rather to define a trajectory to follow by 2030 and then 2050 , with maximum decarbonization potential to be achieved.
With this objective of intensifying and systematizing the measurement of the carbon impact of buildings, the IFPEB identifies the CPE (Environmental Performance Contract) as an effective tool. This system, set up in 2006 and which has become more and more popular in recent years, is defined by ADEME as a "contract between the contracting authority and an operator, which guarantees, over a fixed period, a certain level of energy performance with regard to the investments made (works, supplies and/or services)”. Here is a new path to favor to achieve this model of Carbon Neutrality Compatible Building.
For more details, find the complete guide to IFPEB's Carbon Neutral Compatible Building .
Article written by Amandine Martinet for Construction21