Delivering and operating low-energy buildings in France and Sweden
Paper in proceedings, 2014
Purpose: The goal is to examine how high energy objectives are reached in building projects in France and Sweden and whether these energy objectives have modified the balance of power within the construction business system.
Background: France and Sweden belongs to two different national construction business systems. The organisation of project differs largely between the two countries in terms of responsibilities, expertise and roles when delivering low-energy buildings.
Approach/research limitations: The research includes a presentation of the concept of construction business system. Then, two case studies focusing on the construction and operation of low-energy buildings are exposed. This focus on two projects which are not representative is also the limit of the study.
Originality/value: The cases provide data on low-energy buildings in operation and try to explain the gap between real and expected energy consumption.
Results: Energy and sustainability objectives have led to changes in expertise provided by the actors of the projects and supported a change of power. In both cases the architect has less influence. It is counterbalanced by the emergence of design offices/consultants specialised in energy efficiency. Energy targets are not met at the operation stage after one year of operation. However, in the Swedish case, the performance-based contract provides strong incentives to find solutions in order to reach the energy target established at the design stage.
Practical implications: The cases indicate the need to integrate operators and users at the design stage of any building in order to reduce the discrepancies between expected and real energy performance and to satisfy the European Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings.
construction business systems