Professional real estate players, landlords and tenants alike are now all paying attention to the sustainable dimension of housing, especially as regulations are also changing in this direction. But what is sustainable real estate? Is it a question of providing housing solutions at an environmental, economic and social level?

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A More Environmentally Friendly Home

Sustainable housing is at the heart of Usa people’s concerns. Indeed, according to the latest barometer of the association, 75% of them want to live in housing that respects the environment.

To do this, the sector must adapt to these new requirements and better take into account the environmental impact of buildings, especially new housing and tribeca apartments for rent nyc. To do this, builders are now relying on the circular economy, putting resilience and sustainability at the center of its operation.

“To strengthen the sustainability of housing, we are deploying solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of our housing,” explains Marjolaine Grisard, CSR Director at Nexity. Thus, we use wood (or other low-carbon materials) which can reduce CO₂ emissions by up to 40%!  But we are also experimenting with circular economy approaches to reuse materials from demolitions in our projects or favor products made from recycled raw materials for purchases of finishing work for housing.

Another essential dimension: limiting the impact of construction on biodiversity. The sector is therefore striving to better take into account the modification of natural spaces and their fragmentation, but also to reduce the artificialization of soils. “We seek to preserve and promote biodiversity and nature in our operations,” says Marjolaine Grisard. For example, by choosing local species for planting plants, we can increase the capacity to accommodate birds and animals adapted to the local flora throughout the year!

Comfortable and Energy Efficient Accommodation

But the new requirements of the French are not limited to the environment in a global way, it is also a question here of offering a better comfort of life to the inhabitants. Construction professionals must therefore offer new, high-quality housing, particularly in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation, but also ventilation.

Indeed, insulation has become a decisive criterion for buyers, because it allows you to feel good at home while achieving significant energy savings. This aspect has become so important in recent years that the price of poorly insulated homes is already being felt on the market. According to our figures, in 2021, A-rated homes sell for an average of 11% more than F- and G-rated homes nationally.

Adapt Housing to New Lifestyles

This need to adapt to the new expectations of the French also involves adjustments concerning the size of housing, as well as their access to nature and transport. Indeed, the Covid-19 pandemic has largely contributed to strengthening a movement already underway: the expansion of teleworking. By working from home, the French logically wanted to equip themselves with additional spaces.

Thus, according to a study by the Observatoire de l’Habitat, carried out by Obsoco for Nexity, in May 2020, 4 out of 10 French people aspire to be able to reconfigure or upgrade their housing… Now, buyers of new buildings are therefore looking for housing larger, even with an extra room to be able to modulate the space and adapt it to this new form of work.

Another criterion now essential: the exterior. Indeed, according to the study by the Observatoire de l’Habitat, 71% of French people consider it very important to have an outdoor space.  After successive confinements, the French yearn for fresh air and a calmer living environment. This double movement also leads them to favor medium-sized towns, even rural areas, as long as their accommodation has a good internet connection. This also goes hand in hand with an increased sensitivity to the establishment of soft mobility around homes, which the actors of the new are already keen to implement. 

“To meet these new needs, Nexity is accelerating the development of concrete solutions: by generalizing outdoor living spaces in all its new constructions or even housing layout solutions allowing the same space to address several uses and functionalities, such as a teleworking space, for example. explains Stéphane Clet, Marketing Director of Nexity.

New Regulations Reinforce the Transition

And to better support the real estate sector in this transition to sustainable housing, the government has put in place new regulations but also specific aid. The goal: to ensure better environmental quality and better living comfort for the inhabitants.

Thus, in construction, professionals must adapt to the standard which has applied since January 1, 2022 and aims to eliminate gas in new housing. It introduces a ceiling for greenhouse gas emissions for individual houses of 4 kgCO2eq/m²/year. From 2024, this standard will also lead to the definitive end of gas heating in collective housing, with a threshold set at 6 kgCO2eq/m²/year. It will therefore be necessary to switch to solar, heat pumps or even hybrid solutions.

In August 2021, the government also voted on the Climate and Resilience law, certain provisions of which apply to real estate, particularly old properties. With this new legislation, the DPE becomes enforceable in order to fight against energy thieves. Thus, from 2025 it will be impossible for landlords to rent G-classified housing, then it will be the turn of F-classified housing in 2028, then E-classified housing in 2034. Moreover, if landlords do not undertake work to increase the energy class of their rental property, tenants can force them to do so by legal means.

To support this transition, the government has also set up an aid for energy renovation. This aid piloted by France Rénov’ under the aegis of Anah (National Housing Agency) can finance up to 90% of renovation work  and it applies to owner-occupiers, landlords and condominiums.

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