Tomorrow my territory 06 Decreasing the ecological footprint of buildings in my territory
Eco-responsible construction and renovation
Agence pour l’Environnement et la Maîtrise de l’Energie (ADEME)
The 20 factsheets in the collection « demain MON TERRITOIRE » have been designed to give candidates and elected officials practical keys to take action, to open up the field of possibilities based on the experiences of other elected officials, from small towns to conurbations, large urban areas or sparsely populated areas. In the four corners of France, both in metropolitan France and in the French Overseas Territories, many of them are taking action, together with the players in their territories, to prepare for the future by taking action to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects. With its knowledge and presence throughout the country, ADEME supports them with its tools, activities and financial aid.
Why is improving the environmental performance of buildings important?
The building sector is one of the largest consumers of energy. By acting on the territory’s stock of housing, offices and public buildings, the municipality can have a real impact on the territory’s carbon footprint. The Energy Transition Law thus sets an obligation of exemplary behaviour for public buildings, in particular that all new construction must be « positive energy » and « high environmental performance ». But the challenge also lies in the renovation of existing buildings! It is in the interest of local authorities to embark on this path. To reduce the carbon footprint of the territory. To reduce their energy bills. To create economic activity by using local professionals and materials. Beyond the municipal heritage, a broader action must be deployed to encourage the thermal renovation of private buildings. It also means offering citizens gains in purchasing power and a more pleasant living environment.
How do you do it?
The energetic rehabilitation of buildings is a long-term project, all the more so as in city centres, the buildings, often old, are sometimes very dilapidated. An inventory is carried out in order to decide on the most relevant actions to be implemented. Today, technical solutions exist that are compatible with the economic and climatic stakes to make buildings less energy consuming.
To pursue an ambitious policy, targets are set. High performance levels are set for construction and renovation, including in the Local Housing Plan. This can also include criteria for improving indoor air quality. Recommendations are established on the materials to be used: bio-sourced, favourable to the economy of the area, from reuse or recycling.
Construction waste management is a key element of the environmental performance of the built environment. The public contract for rehabilitation works includes requirements in terms of waste reduction and recycling, either with the project manager or the companies in charge of the implementation.
The conditions are being created for households, craftsmen and traders to embark on energy renovation. Several incentive measures can be taken and, in particular, the setting up of a territorial advisory and support service. As a one-stop shop for inhabitants, this tool acts as a trusted third party by providing free and independent information. It contributes to the emergence of a comprehensive renovation offer, by forging links between all the players, from the construction and public works sector to project financing.
An energy renovation policy cannot be implemented without a component on the prevention of fuel poverty. A diagnosis is carried out on the territory: the families concerned, their homes, the actors who intervene on the subject and the tools that can be mobilized. Then the actors are brought together - elected representatives, social landlords, municipal social action centre, departmental housing information agency, national housing improvement agency, housing solidarity federations and local associations - for more effective action. A programme for the renovation of thermal sieves is decided upon.