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RE2020: New buildings regulation for French carbon neutrality by 2050

In France, 44% of energy consumption and 25% of carbon emissions comes from the building sector. In that sense, the French government introduced a new environmental regulation for new buildings: RE2020.


In November 2020, the French Ministry of Ecological Transition announced the new regulation RE2020 with the objective to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in the construction sector. In July 2021, the government began simulations , after that on the 1st of January 2022 the regulation was set up. This regulation applies to the construction of all the new buildings: single-family houses and collective housing; offices and education buildings but also tertiary buildings such as hotels, shops and gymnasiums.



RE2020 will improve the energy performance and reduce the energy consumption of new buildings, which was committed by the previous regulation.


However, the new regulation adds a new dimension to the previous one. Indeed, new indicators are taken into account to assess the environmental impacts of buildings over their entire life cycle. The French government wants to reach these objectives:


  • Achieve sobriety and energy efficiency: for example, it will no longer be possible to have gas heating as the only source of energy in new buildings. One of the changes is also the Primary energy coefficient (CEP): in the RT2012, heating, cooling, lighting, domestic hot water, ventilation and auxiliary equipment were only taken into account to measure the electricity consumption. In the new regulation, energy consumption from lifts, lighting and ventilation of car parks and lighting of common areas in collective buildings are also measured. To improve these measurements the CEP,nr also has been introduced, it is the non-renewable primary energy consumption of the building.


  • Reduce the carbon impact on the life cycle of new buildings: for example between 2022 and 2024 individual and terraced housing should not produce over 640 kg.CO2/m² and by 2025, carbon emissions must be reduced by 15% in comparison to 2022.


  • Guarantee summer thermal comfort for non-air-conditioned buildings in the event of high heat: The discomfort is reached when the temperature is above 28°C during the day and above 26°C at night.



In order to decarbonize the building sector by 2050, new buildings must improve their energy performance, be climate resilient meaning they should be adapted to future climatic conditions (such as considering increased summer temperatures and related human comfort) and reduce their carbon footprint by taking into account greenhouse gas emissions throughout the building life cycle.


This new regulation should decarbonize French cities by 2050 even closer than the previous one.



If you want to read more about it here are some documentations for French speakers:


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