In France, as in many other developed countries, the building sector is today both one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and one of the main final energy consumers. Buildings, and more specifically residential buildings, are therefore at the heart of the challenges of decarbonising the economy. These challenges include aspects of adaptation to climate change, with, for example, the need to limit the use of air-conditioning or to green roofs and limit heat island effects, but also and above all aspects of mitigation of the contribution to climate change.
Climate change mitigation issues in the building sector are partly related to the eco-design of buildings and partly to energy issues. Eco-design leads to the use of new manufacturing processes for materials, the development of new materials or alternative materials that are not yet widespread and therefore raises potential difficulties in reorganising the sector and the value chain. It also raises questions of acceptability to end customers. The issues related to energy are multiple. It may be a question of substituting renewable energies for fossil energies, the direct consumption of which remains important in the building sector. It may also involve developing the energy efficiency of buildings through so-called eco-efficient technical solutions. In this area, the gap between the expected adoption and dissemination of solutions that are a priori profitable and what is actually achieved is questionable. Referred to as the Energy Efficiency Gap, it has led to the implementation of specific public policies.
The EcoReBa research initiative aims to analyse both the causes of and responses to the Energy Efficiency Gap in the more specific context of residential housing renovation. In this spirit, it is particularly interested in the evaluation of current and future public policies with regard to the objectives of lowering energy costs and reducing the contribution to global warming in the building sector. Particular attention is paid to the French case. In order to achieve these objectives, the research initiative proceeds to :