« Conduct LCA on equipment will anticipate future environmental regulations for new buildings "
Anne Lefranc, sector leader « energy systmes », Building service, ADEME and leader of the LCA project on heating appliances and hot water heater solutions
- Why the ADEME conducted a study on LCA of heating appliances and hot water heater solutions ?
The ADEME is working for a long time to improve the energy performance of heating and hot water heater solutions in buildings. In a context where the RT2012 requires high-performance solutions, it became critical to ensure that this research to the energy performance would not give rise to other environmental impacts. We have therefore initiated and worked with many industry players to perform an LCA of 5 solutions for heating and and hot water heater in a RT2012 house, with the aim of improving our knowledge of the environmental impacts of these facilities on all life cycle including during the steps of manufacturing and end of life.
- What are the benefits of an LCA study for manufacturers? (and for all other players)
When we think in life cycle and multi-criteria analysis, LCA is a very good analysis tool. Conduct LCA on equipment and in particular on the HVAC equipment will anticipate future environmental regulations for new buildings in 2018, which will be based on environmental criteria. The effort must be pursued, but beyond purely regulatory aspects, the opportunities are multiple for manufacturers which lead LCA. It allows to flatten lot of data and to identify optimization potentials including the manufacturing steps and the choice of materials. It allows to also be aware of the importance of maintenance and end of life of equipment (recycling channels, etc.). For all players in the sector, this is a real change in mentality that must take place now ...
- What are the main lessons of the study conducted?
This study gives many results and lessons. It is very rich and difficult to summarize in a few sentences. However, we see that the manufacturing steps and use up more than 90% of the impact on the life cycle except on certain indicators. During the use phase, impacts from the great majority of the energy used for the operation (gas, electricity, wood energy, etc.). For more details, I invite you to read the summary of the published study on www.ademe.fr/analyse-cycle-vie-solutions-chauffage-decs-maisons-individuelles-rt-2012