Focus: Environmental Performance

Objectives: promoting buildings with low carbon footprints

1. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector

In November 2015 France adopted the new National Low-Carbon Strategy, setting the ambitious objective of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by the year 2030. As part of this effort, the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act stipulates that from 2018, a GHG emissions value will be included in the performance rating of each new building.

2. Evaluating the building’s carbon footprint from construction onwards

One of the aims of the trial scheme is to study the reduction in a building’s greenhouse gas emissions from construction through to demolition. Products and equipment used in the construction phase carry a significant carbon impact. Additionally, the reference framework provides two indicators enabling users to assess the carbon impact of the products and equipment the building is made up of, as well as of the building overall.

3. Enhancing the role of recyclable materials and the circular economy

In order to consider the environmental impact in its entirety, the trial scheme takes into account re-use and recycling of materials salvaged from demolition, thereby helping to support and develop the materials recycling sector.

Method

Improving a building’s environmental performance is based on the reduction of its environmental impact throughout its life cycle (from the production of materials making up the building through to its demolition).

This evaluation is based on the principle of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), and largely on the NF EN 15978 industry standard.

Depending on the method used (simplified or detailed), the number of indicators to be calculated may vary from 9 to 28. These environmental indicators are determined for each phase of a building’s life cycle, and their calculation is broken down across four contributors:

Environmental indicators

The building’s environmental impact is obtained by totalling up the environmental impact of each contributor. The environmental benefits of exported energy, and the re-use or recycling of products beyond the building’s life cycle, may also be taken into account in the calculation.he building’s environmental impact is obtained by totalling up the environmental impact of each contributor. The environmental benefits of exported energy, and the re-use or recycling of products beyond the building’s life cycle, may also be taken into account in the calculation.

Calculating the environmental impact of a component

Calculations of the environmental impact of a component, service or resource consumed are carried out by combining environmental data with a precise quantity.

Exemple du calcul de l'impact environnemental d'un composant

Example of an environmental impact calculation for a component