In this heatwave, the temptation is great to turn on the air conditioner. But because of the bacteria it can carry, the fact that it is energy-intensive and has a significant environmental impact, air conditioning does not always gets good press. It is not the only way to refresh your home or office space. Here are some more environmentally friendly solutions.
This is a passive cooling technique for buildings, which plays on the difference between inside and outside. During the day, when the air is cooler outside than inside, it will be used to refresh the building. At night, the engine is reversed and the hot air stored in the offices is expelled, so that the temperature is as cool as possible the next morning. Data centres, which operate day and night, love this system, which can be combined with other principles of ventilation.
It consists in making the most of the environment in which the construction is located, whether it is the management of light (orientation of the building), the choice of materials or the assistance provided by the plants present on the site (for example, to capture heat or provide shade). Each bioclimatic architecture project is unique, since it is defined primarily by the geographical characteristics of the place.
It is a geothermal process that provides natural ventilation. The temperature in the basement is almost the same all year round, regardless of the season (between 10 and 15°). By transporting the underground air to the house, it can be refreshed during the summer months (the temperature of the basement being lower than that of the outdoor air).
More stable and waterproof than a standard roof, it offers many advantages. In addition to facilitating biodiversity (insects) and protecting the membrane from UV rays, it also serves as a natural insulator during heatwaves. Many metropolises encourage and subsidise the installation of green roofs. A plant roof can be extensive (surface only, limited rooting) or intensive (with roots, requiring a more resistant structure to accommodate the plants).
Sea water is colder than water circulating in the pipes of a dwelling (on average 6 degrees cooler). In Marseille, the Smartseille eco-district is air-conditioned in this way: seawater is pumped and driven to a heat exchanger, connected to a loop of fresh water, which it will cool or warm, depending on the season. This technology, which is quite expensive to implement, is obviously reserved for coastal cities. Once in full operational mode, however, this system makes it possible to reduce the energy bill by about 30%.