Review Of France's Roadmap For Positive-Energy And Low-Carbon Buildings And Building Clusters
energyⁿ manager|April - June 2019
France's roadmap for positive-energy and low- carbon buildings and building clusters was prepared way back in 2010 based on a study undertaken by an expert group to align with the French energy legislation adopted in 2005, with a target to lower greenhouse gas emissions by threequarters by 2050 compared to 1990 (the so-called Factor 4 objective).

Various paths were proposed for meeting the Factor 4 goals by 2050. Officially launched on 6 July 2007, the "Grenelle Environnement" brought the state and civil society together in order to define new actions for sustainable development in France. The Grenelle objectives for the residential sector were assessed by the expert group based on the findings of the Grenelle environmental conference; these are summarized.

In 2050 some 10 million residential housing units, or about 36% of housing stock at that date, would still not have received any large-scale energy upgrade. Even when pursued beyond 2020 the Grenelle objectives are not sufficient, and more ambitious goals must be set if the Factor 4 objective is to be attained in the residential sector by 2050. This would mean setting ambitious objectives for energy refurbishment and rehabilitation in existing commercial/institutional building stock. Four options offer ways to attain the Factor 4 objective:

- Option 1: accelerate the pace of energy refurbishment in existing residential and commercial building stock

- Option 2: raise the performance level to be achieved via energy refurbishment in existing buildings, for example, setting primary energy consumption at a level well below 50 kWh/m /year

- Option 3: ensure substantial new construction and positive-energy buildings, including an ambitious policy for deconstruction and rebuilding of existing residential and commercial buildings

- Option 4: recover residual energy produced by positive-energy buildings, on a building cluster scale.

The 2050 vision

How can each of these four options be translated into action? The visions elaborated below are built around two key parameters:

- The scale on which the positive energy concept is applied - building, complex or neighborhood,

- Proportion of transformation effort between existing stock and new buildings.

The Factor 4 objective would not be attained in 2050 by focusing exclusively on new or on existing buildings, but by undertaking work in both sectors.

Vision 1: massive energy refurbishment, building by building

All existing residential and commercial/institutional buildings are largely rehabilitated to transform the most recent constructions into positive-energy buildings, and attain consumption levels under 50 kWh/m /year for the others.

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