Energy Positive buildings and electric cars: the new paradigm for energy savings ?
An "electrinet" to be fully developed
The 30 million private cars on French roads represent a significant energy potential, several times that of EDF. Many of them “sleep” in the vicinity of the 17 million private houses. Thus, as for information with Internet, a new idea is now gaining attention: To create an “electrinet”, a network of energy production sites and storage systems in which houses and cars would have an important part. Projects about this new paradigm are currently under development in the USA (NREL, Rocky Mountain Institute…) and among Japanese real estate developers. The objective: To develop a connection system between the electricity network and cars in buildings (both energy efficient and energy producers). The CSTB is not being left out, as it is taking active steps to carry out similar operations in the Rhône-Alpes region, in partnership with the CEA, INRETS and IFP.
“Building therapy”: building surfaces to increase well-being
Wall thickness and building height are essential characteristics of buildings, but in the current climate their surfaces represent underused “assets” for making the most of renewable energies and providing comfort for occupiers.
Air quality, lighting, heat, cold - all or nearly all depend on the surface available. There is general awareness of the use of roofs and façades to “collect resources”: air, water, light, energy …. In side too, the use of opaque and glazed walls is increasing as a matter of efficiency and comfort. Some examples?: Underfloor heating is already making it possible to move from hot spots (radiators) to a much more temperate surface which gives a far more comfortable ambience. The window, which lets daylight through, could be transformed in future into a diffuse light source during the night. Partition walls incorporating phase change materials (PCMs) will soon play an essential part in thermal comfort (surface temperature). Air treatment and its surface diffusion could also provide comfort and care. Enough to transform a building into a “well-being diffuser”! Then we’re on the way to “building therapy”?