First office building applying for the E+C- label, certified by Certivéa: Themis–Icade project. Photo : ICADE
Jointly launched by public authorities and construction industry stakeholders in November 2016, the "E+C- Experimentation" initiative and its associated label evolved from several years of collective groundwork. As a partner, the CSTB contributed to the development of the benchmark, criteria, and desired performance levels. Backed by its expertise in energy and carbon, the CSTB is sharing its knowledge and services to support the mobilization of all involved in experimentation to develop positive energy buildings with low carbon footprints.
Anticipating a new regulatory framework
Ten years ago, who was paying attention to carbon efficiency? As part of the development of certification benchmarks put forward by environmental organizations with the support of the CSTB, E+C- Experimentation (E+ for positive energy, C- for carbon reduction) and the associated label represent a milestone in a shift toward new building regulations. It commits stakeholders to a results-based approach in two areas, Energy and Environment, to ensure the transition to renewable energy, curb greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, and reduce their impact on climate change.
New carbon requirement
As a leading expert in life cycle assessment, the CSTB helped shape what makes this label unique: inclusion of the carbon footprint and other environmental indicators throughout the life cycles of buildings. This comprehensive approach incorporates CO2 emissions generated by manufacturing and transport of construction products, water and energy consumption, and the construction site. The carbon requirement is in addition to toughening energy efficiency standards compared with those in 2012 energy regulations (to achieve buildings that use less energy, or even export surplus energy). It is also associated with the goal of increasing occupant well-being to advance toward the building of tomorrow.
Exploring before deploying
"The idea is to observe before deciding" to drive innovation dynamically and develop wise solutions. E+C- Experimentation is preparing the entire industry for Energy-Carbon requirements on the technical and economic levels before they generally apply to all new buildings. Among the tools available to stakeholders, the CSTB provides educational videos that explain the issues. It also offers a range of services to guide strategies and provides training and calculation software – Elodie – for applying the E+C- label. Several performance levels are proposed in the label to support stakeholders and promote collective progress.
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