architects still need to “own” life cycle analysis

“RE2020, one year already”. This is the title of the online conference proposed in January by the NOAC (National Council of the Order of Architects), aiming to “make a first assessment” of the new environmental regulations that came into force on January 1, 2022, but also to give some keys to anticipate the next stages of this regulation, since new thresholds will apply in 2025, 2028 and 20231 on various indicators of this multi-criteria regulation.

What are these indicators? Guillaume Meunier, architect-engineer at Elioth for Egis, has six of them, which he has grouped into five themes: “comfort, material sobriety, carbon-free energy, bioclimatism, and energy sobriety. If all “walk together”and that playing on one indicator can deteriorate or improve the rating on another, one of these parameters is undoubtedly more “complex” than the others to apprehend: that of sobriety in materials, which takes the form of the ICconstruction (carbon index of construction) in the RE2020.

Compactness, circular economy, LCA of products

“There are three ways to reduce the carbon impact of the material used”, details the engineer-architect. The first is to“use as little as possible” : from this point of view, “the compactness of buildings becomes a fundamental parameter, in view of the 2028 threshold and especially that of 2031”. For the designer, “this will impact the architecture, we can no longer act as if compactness was not an issue”.

Another way to lower the ICconstruction of a project is to use the circular economy, “very encouraged” by the new regulations. There is “huge benefits of re-employment” in the projects, insists Guillaume Meunier. Finally, we must get into the habit of choosing “the least carbonaceous material”and therefore become familiar with their LCA, to “life cycle analysis”.

“The 2028 thresholds will only be reached if we make efforts on all materials”

Lowering the carbon intensity of construction materials will not only happen by “putting wood”warns the designer. “The 2028 thresholds will only be reached if we make efforts on all materials”and using the range of solutions available, for facades, floors, insulation, etc.

The architect Pascal Gontier observes, on his projects, that the use of biosourced “makes it possible to largely achieve the carbon index”. The introduction of ACV is “a chance”Who “boost the command” virtuous projects. She does “save time, because before we spent a lot of time asking manufacturers for this information”. He believes he now has the means to quickly see which item weighs down the balance sheet. And think that by becoming a reflex, it will be easier and easier for architects.

“Easy-to-use software exists”

Guillaume Meunier, architect-engineer of the Egis group, advises carrying out the LCA from the preliminary draft, or even in sketch, which “allows you to get an idea”. For the design office, “we must not leave the engineer to take care of it alone”because these choices impact all the other parameters, but above all because “this should be the basic profession of the architect: to know the material he is installing”.

The vice-president of the Cnoa, Valérie Flicoteaux, recalls that within the framework of the RE2020, the manufacturers produce the FDES sheets for their products, and that the Inies database which brings them together “is completed at high speed”. It is undeniably a “facilitating element”especially since the LCA calculation software “automatically suck data” from this basis.

“We have to appropriate and acquire reflexes on stroke as we acquired them on energy”chants the architect, announcing that the Cnoa “will work with the State to have software capable of giving indications much further upstream of projects, to model the parameters of RE2020 very quickly”. Way “get on the right track from the sketch”.

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