Scientific and technical programs Energy & Environment

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2016 was a pivotal year: the environmental analysis of a building, throughout its life cycle, now takes carbon emissions into account. In the energy sector, the CSTB helps stakeholders reach their objectives by developing reliable forecasts on the scale of buildings and cities, and by deploying the energy performance guarantee.

A sharper focus on environmental challenges

The CSTB has mobilized its expertise in Life Cycle Analysis and exploits the outcomes of its research on overall building performance as part of the new E+C- accreditation.

The CSTB is strengthening its involvement in the circular economy (recycling and reusing waste, recovering end-energy, etc.), comfort (acoustic, lighting, summer comfort, etc.) and the life-cycle cost approach to project management by making them key priorities.

Energy Performance Guarantee

Energy-efficient buildings cannot be deployed on a massive scale unless the stakeholders are certain of obtaining the predicted results. To assess the real energy performance of projects, the CSTB has developed complementary methods (Isabele and Repère). They are currently being tested for the construction and renovation of housing. The CSTB is thus offering project owners and managers reliable measurements and indicators on building performance, both during commissioning of buildings and when in use by occupants.

In 2016, together with ADEME (the French Environment and Energy Management Agency) and the CEREMA (Center for the Study and Expertise of Risks, the Environment, Mobility and Development), the CSTB also launched an Energy Performance Contract Observatory. The objective is to capitalize on experience and facilitate the widespread use of contracts with an energy performance commitment.

Large-scale renovation

Although existing buildings represent the leading source of energy savings, various obstacles hinder the decision to launch upgrade projects, resulting in missed opportunities for energy renovation. The CSTB is committed to facilitating diagnoses of existing buildings and improving the reliability of the process by simplifying data collection and reducing costs. The CSTB also supports the renovation of buildings in phases. It guides the integration of energy projects into the maintenance cycles of the existing building stock, and helps organize the adaptation of these projects to an aging population.

Energy performance of cities

The CSTB guides urban stakeholders in the energy transition by developing sustainable strategies. Its research has produced a decision-making and assessment tool: Dimosim. This computing core is currently being optimized at the Efficacity Institute, which brings the CSTB together with academic, engineering, energy and software partners to offer a benchmark energy software application: POWERDIS, to be released in 2017.