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The French Thermal Regulation


In France, the building sector is responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The thermal regulation for buildings is part of a group of measures for tackling energy saving which impact the whole economy. These measures are consolidated within the Climate Plan.

There are two distinct sets of regulations for buildings:

  • - RT2005 which applies to new buildings (soon replaced by RT2012),
  • - A regulation which applies to existing buildings, with specific requirements on buildings over 1000 m².

RT2005 applies to new buildings whose planning applications were supmitted after September 1st, 2006.

The principle of this regulation is based on energy performance, namely the Cep (primary energy) consumption and Tic (interior comfort) temperature of a reference building (where the plant/machinery and other parameters are fixed), in comparison to the same values for the actual project.

Solar protection is therefore taken into account indirectly within RT2005. By fixing certain parameters, the calculation method means that the attainment of the set limits is only possible through the installation of solar protection devices.

For RT2012 (in preparation), it is planned that the maximum consumption of new buildings shall be 50 kWh/m².an. This regulation will be therefore more demanding than RT2005. It is planned to be applied on January 1st 2011 for non residential buildings and on January 1st 2013 for all types of new buildings.

The thermal regulation for existing buildings came into force on November 1st 2007. It is applicable to all buildings irrespective of floor space.

In contrast to RT2005, this regulation is not based on a calculation (the building's parameters being unknown) but on the application of performance requirements directly to the equipment which is to be installed during the redevelopment.

Solar protection devices are therefore supject to certain legal provisions. For example, when an air-conditioning system is to be installed or replaced, the glazed areas which are not north-facing shall be fitted with solar protection devices which give a solar factor less than or equal to 0.15.

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