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What does the building of the future look like?

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It suffices to observe the many conceptual images that have emerged from the fertile imagination of architects to quickly realize: the buildings of the future will be marked with the seals of ecology and digital technology. Gone are the orderly large buildings of the 60s and 80s, where concrete was king. Energy transformation now requires attention to the performance of buildings, all within an increasingly strict legislative context on sustainable development.

Energy transition, an ecological necessity coupled with a legal obligation

For several years now, all major architectural projects have incorporated a key imperative: energy transition, based on sustainable development. The international desire to want to limit the consequences of global warming, symbolized by the COP 21 in Paris in December 2015, is largely based on the elimination or at least the reduction of greenhouse gases. And the weight of the building in the overall energy consumption is immense. According to data from the Resource Center for Renewable Heat and Regional Energy Planning, in 2013 the building sector accounted for 44% of French energy consumption. Of which 37% electricity, 32% gas, 16% oil and only 15% renewable energies.

Since the Grenelle de l'Environnement at the end of the 2000s, energy saving for buildings has imposed itself through a series of ever more demanding laws, called “Thermal regulations” (RT). The most recent, RT2015, thus imposes strict standards for all new buildings. These should in fact not exceed 50 kWh / m² / year, and rather tend towards 30 kWh / m² / year. Insulation, heating and energy consumption must therefore be strictly controlled, which obligatorily requires the use of eco-materials, low carbon and recyclable. The future RT2020 will push the principle of energy transition to its final goal: the autonomy of buildings. All new constructions must be BEPOS certified (Bâtiment à Énergie POSitive), in other words produce their own energy.

More and more connected buildings

The building of the future will also integrate another key dimension: it will be connected. Just as the energy transition appears to be an ecological necessity, the building sector cannot escape the global digital transition, which is already clearly visible in the economy. Even if this digital integration was long overdue, the new buildings are now resolutely turned towards high-tech. This adaptation has several goals, which are partly linked to the energy transition.

The automatic control and regulation of the ambient temperature, the opening of the windows, the collection of rainwater and the independent watering of the garden, all expensive devices but creators of energy saving, therefore profitable in the long term . The different equipment of the building of the future will certainly be connected to each other, but also to their owners. Already existing and available, this solution makes it possible to centralize all the digital management of the building on a smartphone. It is thus possible to know in real time the state of life of your home, and to interact with it remotely.

This digitization of the building also obeys an observation already marked and destined to develop throughout the 21 st century: the elderly want to stay at home as long as possible. Many technological devices already make it possible to significantly increase this duration, such as the light path at night, or even the ultra-simplified tablet allowing easy communication with loved ones.

The “connected floor” represents the cutting edge device in favor of the elderly. Sensitive to any heavy and unusual impact, this connected floor is able to both detect falls and immediately call for help. High-tech equipment and a market segment undoubtedly set to develop profitably, since according to INSEE data, the proportion of people aged 60 will continue to increase sharply until 2035, before subsequently growing. a little more slowly. In 2060, one in three French people will be over 60 years old.

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