Construction: BBC (energy efficient building) basics


With the Environment round table, the BBC Label for low energy consumption buildings becomes more and more essential for construction as well as for renovation. What is behind these rather intimidating initials?

It appears everywhere, with new build developers, house builders, renovators… Even the PTZ+ (new interest free loan) welcomes it honourably… In short, the energy efficient label (BBC) which will become incontrovertible by the 1st of January 2013 has become an essential stage.

What form does the BBC Effinergie label take?

Building a new accommodation involves respecting thermal regulations (RT). In the meantime and before the RT 2012 for residential housing takes effect, it is the RT 2005 that prevails. But the BBC label in new build has further requirements, on the basis of a frame of reference established by the Effinergie Association. At national level, a BBC building has to meet a certain threshold of air permeability and consume a maximum of 50kWh/sqm/year of primary energy (80kWh/sqm/year for the renovation, according to the decree of September 29th 2009). However, this value is modulated according to climate areas and altitude. A coefficient which varies from 0.8 to 1.3 according to regions is applied at the value of 50kWh/sqm/year. If the building is located in the Yonne department, for example, its primary energy consumption will be calculated according to a coefficient of 1.3. It will respect an energy efficiency of 65kWh/sqm/year. In southern France, this coefficient is reduced to 0.8, which means 40kWh/sqm/year. It is the same if the building is situated at altitude (coefficient from 0 to 0.2).

What is primary energy?

It is the energy available in nature before any transformation. For BBC new builds the average of 50kWh/sqm/year of primary energy is based on heating, hot water, cooling, ventilation and lighting consumption. It does not represent the final energy consumption, that is to say the one including other home equipment (household appliances, hi-fi, TV etc.) which increases the energy consumption from 50 to 60kWh/sqm/year.

What does the BBC label offer?

It offers a higher comfort level energy savings. Compared to accommodation built according to the RT 2005 which consumes an average of 150kWh/sqm/year, BBC buildings reduce the bill of primary energy by a third. A significant sum when energy prices keep increasing. However a damper on proceedings: the average consumption of BBC buildings is based on conventional use (19˚ C in the daytime, 16˚C at nighttime in bedrooms). Without respecting certain criteria (if you open windows even when the heating is on or if you are not satisfied with 19˚ C as a daytime temperature for example) the bill may increase noticeably.

Other precision: the BBC label is allocated to buildings and not to apartments, whereas between an apartment situated on the ground floor and another on the top floor, there are inevitably differences. Another advantage, the possibility for first time buyers to obtain an amount of PTZ+ that is much higher for a BBC than a non-BBC. Regarding rental investments, the Scellier operation also privileges the labeling, meaning new BBC buildings benefit from a tax reduction of 22% compared to 13% for others, that is to say a difference of 9 points.

What price:

A new build trademarked BBC costs on average 5 to 6% more than classic accommodation. This is explained by the necessity of improving the building insulation, increasing air tightness, and installing more efficient heating, hot water and ventilation systems.

Who deliver it?

Three organisations certify residential housing: Cerqual (new or renovation), Promotelec and Cequami, the last one only working with individual properties.

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2011 at 2:05 pm and is filed under Eco-friendly buildings, French New build, French Property . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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