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INCREASED USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGIES

Buildings represent 34%¹ of the worldwide annual energy demand. Energy is essential for all living beings and is consumed for multiple purposes throughout the whole life cycle of a building. It is fundamentally needed for heating, cooling, and lighting to provide comfort indoors. In the quest to combat climate change, it is crucial to leverage the use of renewable energies during the operational phase of buildings which also allows reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Renewable energies are derived from the existing energy streams, generated in continuous natural processes, and are constantly replenished. They are generally defined as the ability to regenerate the energy obtained from the source at the same rate or faster than its depletion.

 

In the building sector, the energy demand should be minimized by increasing the energy efficiency of buildings. Therefore, the remaining need can be supplied from self-produced energy or locally generated, renewable, and decarbonized energy sources. It is recommended to install technologies that generate renewable energies by directly integrating them into the structure of the building to accomplish a self-consumption approach.

The self-consumption approach enables consumers to cover entirely or partially their needs with local production, which turns consumers into producers as well. Moreover, any produced energy surplus can be supplied to nearby buildings, public infrastructure, municipalities, or even the public grid.

 

 

How do we act?

The sun is an infinite source of light and energy. It is possible to harness the flow of the sun's thermal energy through natural processes to generate electric energy for lighting, heating, and cooling purposes.

 

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) for instance is a technology that can be installed directly in the envelope of the building to convert solar radiation into electric energy. At Saint-Gobain Glass, we promote energy-efficient glass solutions, but we also favour the use of renewable energies to cover 100% of the remaining demand and even to produce enough energy to supply grids nearby.

We work alongside our partner, the solar panel manufacturer Megasol, to develop a variety of fully customized and aesthetic BIPV solutions that can be integrated on roofs or the vertical façades of a building to contribute to sustainable construction.

 

 

¹ Global alliance for buildings and construction: 2022 global status report for buildings and construction

 

 

ENERGY & CARBON

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