Low-carbon, natural materials, passive building, what are the trends ?

WHAT is new in. The energy performance alone is not the ultimate goal of the manufacturers. Other parameters related to users or to changes in the climate are to be taken into account. Sylvain Grove, editorial director for Construction21, decrypts to Batiactu the major trends observed in the records of the Green Solutions Awards 2017.
The buildings are undergoing rapid evolution that the constraints, whether they are regulatory, economic (with the appearance of a green value) or climate. Witnesses of this evolution, the Green Solutions Awards, including the winners of the 5th edition will be unveiled on 7 September by Construction21. Scott Grove raises a corner of the veil, and analysis of the major trends observed in France and abroad.


The responsible editorial note : “In France, more than the international, the carbon is really highlighted by the majority of candidates, in all categories. There is an effort on this issue. This is reflected by the number of certified projects, with two already enrolled in the process E+C – and other, still more numerous, which are BBCA. It is really the strong point of this edition“. For Scott Grove, the explanation is simple : “The energy performance, it is good, we keep it. Now, it is the performance of carbon that must be done“. In particular, in the middle of the wooden structures, deemed to retain the carbon instead of emit, which multiply and take the height.


Materials, ventilation and lighting, all natural


The other current concern, that of the comfort and health of occupants. Again, the expert highlights of the developments : “there are interesting things in the field of quality of indoor air obviously. But a lot of work has been done on the contribution of natural light, as this factor is now more measured. And, here also, the approaches are based on certifications always more numerous, HQE in mind, BREEAM, few LEED, but also record labels as Well, or even Leading Building Challenge“. The revegetation of the buildings would also be more extensive, as we confirmed by Scott Grove : “It is the introduction of nature to the interior or the opening to the outside world. There is a approach to biophilic“. A great care is even brought to the acoustic, which was, until then, “the poor relative” of the building according to the editorial manager.


The jury of the Green Solutions Award distinguishes projects in temperate climate zones and those designed for warm climates. However, for all the geographical regions of the globe, a standard is emerging : “The liability has become the reference in THE north as in the south, and even in the United Arab Emirates“. Specifically, in this atmosphere stifling, the emphasis is on the natural ventilation and the bioclimatisme, in order to reach the summer comfort. Scott Grove says : “there are very nice solutions which ought to inspire some buildings in the north ! And Guyana is in the forefront in this field“. In addition to the wood construction, in vogue, the specialist noted the return of natural materials and ancestral techniques : “again, this is a big trend. A perfect example is the vault nubian, a technique inherited from the Egyptians that uses raw earth. It is a solution that is low-carbon, uses of the materials in the corner of the local workforce and which is adapted to the climates in africa, as in Senegal“.
read also

  • Green Building Solutions Awards 2016 : these are the seven winners French
  • The Green Building Solutions Awards 2014 unveil their winners


Not so smart for the moment


Conversely, the jury is said to be a little disappointed by the solutions “smart”. The editorial officer confided to us : “there is no building predictive, for example, this year, unlike last year where we had Agua. And it should be made clear that an intelligent building is not just a building being monitored or instrumented. It is to integrate uses and users, adopt relevant solutions“. Another slight disappointment, the number of renovation projects, in sharp decline for this edition 2017. Sylvain Grove explains : “usually we have about a third of renovations in the folders, but not this year. Or abroad, notably in Belgium“. He wonders about the reasons for this decline : a slowdown of the renovation activity, or simple lack of motivation of the project promoters ? Even on the question of climate resilience, that is to say, the ability of a construction to cope with the weather events in the future, the records are rare, with a single building to integrate them clearly this is problematic, because of its location in the Chesapeake bay (United States). But, according to the specialist of Construction21, this theme will emerge alive and well in the years to come.

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