Even if some (almost everyone in reality) want to see things happening faster, it is clear that environmental preservation awareness is progressing. As a symbol, the month of March 2020 saw the first office building to obtain the triple HQE certification at the highest level possible. The NUOVO, is located in Clichy (Île-de-France) and built by Chaix & Morel et associés architecture firm . Owned by Société Générale Assurances and BNP Paribas Cardif, it is however occupied by a division of L’Oréal. What does the triple HQE certification consist of? And above all, how does this materialize on a daily basis? This is what we will try to see.
What is an HQE certification ?
There are actually 2 high environmental quality certifications for office buildings. The “NF – tertiary building” certification which validates a building from design to completion. And the “NF Tertiary buildings in operation”, valid here since the building dates from 2016. They are issued by a single organisation: Certivea. The evaluation process is based on the following 3 criteria:
- The Operational Management System (SMEx) benchmark assesses the environmental management implemented by operation certificate holder
- The Environmental Quality of Buildings in Operation (QEBE) standard notes the intrinsic performance of the building as well as monitoring and maintenance of the latter during operation.
- The Environmental Quality of Practices (QEP) benchmark assesses the performance of good operating and use practices unrelated to the strictly built environment.
The NUOVO in Clichy is therefore the first office building to excel in these 3 areas. Concretely, this means that it is built in a sustainable way, as well as its management and its usage.
A quick tour of the NUOVO?
But how does all this materialize? Some examples. 100% of activity waste was recovered in 2019 (37% in energy, 62% in recycling and 1% in reuse). Only products that meet environmental challenges are used. After numerous optimizations, the level of final energy consumption has been reduced by 15% to reach 112.4 KW / m² / year. The well-being of occupants has not been neglected either since 100% of workspaces benefit from access to natural light (which, we cannot repeat enough, is much better for the eyes because it does not cause eye fatigue) and an outward view. Air quality checks are carried out every year.
The first of a long series ?
There is no doubt that NUOVO is the first building to achieve this level of qualification in a long series. It is no longer necessary to present the environmental issues. However, business leaders are often only convinced by quantifiable transactions. It is by calculating the profitability of operating in this type of offices, that a stronger dynamic will be created. However, there are two problems with this: the gains are often made over the long run and resources must be mobilized internally (over a period of time) to carry out these monitoring studies.
Sustainable development is profressing, here is the proof! While much remains to be done, it is also worth celebrating when things are going in the right direction. If you want to know more and find the full article, of course go to issue 60 of Ergonoma journal. With everything you need to know about the latest ergonomics, of course.