A combination of ALDREN’s methodologies and the benefits of a mature certification scheme (HQE), is one of the best way to make eco-conditions more reliable and to encourage deep renovations.Patrick Nossent, CERTIVEA

Since 2005 CERTIVEA delivers HQE certification for all non-residential buildings (offices, schools, hotels, retail, logistics, …). This certification scheme considers buildings under construction, renovation and in-use. The certification process is based on audits in design, at the end of works and in-use, in order to verify the real performance of the building. The “HQE certification” is one of the main certification schemes in the world, with more than 4000 certified buildings in all continents. It’s a quality certificate that is granted, through a thorough and third-party independent certification process. It’s a guarantee to have fully operational, sustainable, comfortable, healthy spaces, offering well-being to occupants.

Since the beginning of the ALDREN project, CERTIVEA consider its experience in the field of certification, to ensure that ALDREN methodologies could be used in its future certification schemes. A work has been done to see how to implement partial incorporation of the ALDREN methodology in the existing “HQE” certification.

Patrick Nossent, President of CERTIVEA, highlights in this interview the strengths of the ALDREN methodology.

  • What are the main market barriers facing building certification schemes?

ALDREN project make a link between sustainable improvement of buildings (energy consumption), well-being benefits for occupants, and economic gains for all parties. By this way, the ALDREN modules has shown that a deep renovation brings in the same time energy savings, improvement of health and comfort conditions, with long-term financial benefits.
One of the major interests of the ALDREN project for Certivéa is to implement the scientific methodologies which result from it, in order to promote them through its third-party certification systems. This will highlight these different cross-benefits (sustainability, well-being, economy) for the final customer of the certification. The market is awaiting this third-party guarantee about these links. The HQE certification scheme offers this security, considering its rigorous process and its overall approach. That will lead to more efficient buildings, reaching really the performance expected.
Owners recognition is a key element. The association of a mature certification scheme as HQE, with the detailed protocol of ALDREN will allow to show these crossed benefits.

  • Given that Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) are mandatory, what benefits can it offer that buildings also have a voluntary environmental certification? What do you think about the coexistence between the mandatory energy certificate and the voluntary environmental certification schemes of buildings?

Voluntary environmental certification schemes as HQE already coexist with mandatory energy schemes all over Europe. Voluntary certification schemes are comprehensive assessment methods that deal with all aspects of a project (energy, climate change, water, waste, biodiversity, indoor air quality, electromagnetic fields, visual and acoustic comfort, transportation, circular economy, …) and go beyond regulations according to the objectives of the owner of the building. Mandatory energy schemes are enforceable in each country. So, objectives are different.
One of the main advantage of ALDREN methodologies is that it provides a common scale for EPC, which fits in perfectly with the needs identified above.
A combination of ALDREN’s methodologies and the benefits of a mature certification scheme (HQE), is a one of the best way to make eco-conditions more reliable and to encourage deep renovations.

  • ALDREN’s backbone is a harmonized European voluntary certification scheme that integrates the assessment of energy, health, and wellbeing performances of the building. What are the main strengths of the ALDREN methodology in your opinion?

The main strengths of the ALDREN methodology is to make a link between energy renovations planed, the level obtained on EPC, the improvement of well-being and of building value. This is preponderant in the commitment of building stakeholders to a virtuous renovation process, showing them that energy improvement is also valued in terms of well-being and economy.
The rigorous methodologies applied also allow to have a high level of confidence in the results, which is very important for stakeholders.

  • Which ALDREN modules/indicators/protocols do you plan to integrate into “HQE”?

Certivéa will certainly use the different modules of ALDREN, independently and in different ways, for its certification schemes. For example, the energy thematic of HQE certification could be updated by adding the calculation protocol of task 2.2, in order to deliver also the new EPC. We will refer also to the performance verification tool developed in ALDREN, especially for buildings in use.
We will ensure that indicators used in HQE to evaluate health and well being are compatible with TAIL indicators used in ALDREN. And we will also use the link made in ALDREN between renovation process and value of the building, to give this new information to our stakeholders.

Author of the interview: Christophe GERARD (Certivéa)

This interview is part of the “REHVA Journal” 03/2020 (August 2020). More information HERE

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