New building in France will need no heating or cooling

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A new model of building could change our heating and cooling needs for homes. (Envato Elements pic)

PARIS: Imagine living or working in a building where you didn’t need to turn on the radiator in winter or activate the air conditioning in summer.

The idea is appealing and now it’s taking shape as a reality.

Indeed, this concept of a more sustainable building without heating, air conditioning or ventilation system was conceptualised and designed by Austrian architect Dietmar Eberle in 2013 with the project “2226.”

The project has resulted in residential, office and mixed-use buildings with clean designs and rather plain facades, built in Austria and Switzerland. An attractive low-carbon building model that France will soon be able to boast.

Indeed, real estate developer Nexity has won a tender for a large construction project in Lyon’s Confluence district, including a new building designed with the help of Dietmar Eberle’s architectural team (Baumschlager Eberle).

Called “L’Essentiel,” the building is expected to be completed in 2023. To allow its future inhabitants to live comfortably without heating or air conditioning all year round, the method used will be the same as that used for the other “2226” buildings built in Austria and Switzerland.

Thanks to thick walls lined with insulating materials, the building will maintain an ambient temperature of between 22 and 26 degrees at all times (hence the name).

“Thanks to their inertia or thermal phase shift, the heat stored by the floors and walls is released throughout the day,” Nexity said in a statement.

Triple-glazed windows equipped with sensors will be used to measure the temperature in real time.

In winter, the building’s inhabitants will also be able to warm up thanks to the energy emanating from household appliances, computers, etc.

A concept of a low-energy building that could have a promising future, especially given the current geo-political and climate context. Indeed, the thermal insulation of housing represents a key axis for achieving energy savings.

According to recent estimates of France’s National Observatory of Energy Renovation, of the 30 million primary residences in the country on Jan 1, 2022, about 5.2 million homes are energy-inefficient, representing 17% of the country’s total housing.