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What Is France Doing to Ensure Sustainable Building Practices?

France is leading the charge in sustainable building, implementing rigorous standards like the HQE and RT 2020, which mandate energy efficiency and low environmental impact. Green roofs, renewable materials, and innovative designs are becoming the norm. As France paves the way, one wonders how these practices will shape the future of global architecture. What could your country learn from France's approach?

France is going greener by going brown. As of 2022, the European nation will require that all new public buildings be made with 50 percent wood, or similarly sustainable, environmentally-friendly materials, such as straw and hemp.

When it comes to addressing climate concerns, France is leading the charge in other ways, too. By 2050, President Emmanuel Macron has pledged that the nation will be carbon-neutral -- meaning it will absorb as much carbon as it produces. There are also plans to invest $21 million into a network of 100 urban farms to improve access to fresh, locally-grown produce.

As of 2022, new public buildings in France must be built with at least 50% wood or other sustainable materials.
As of 2022, new public buildings in France must be built with at least 50% wood or other sustainable materials.

France's environmental commitment will be closely scrutinized by viewers around the world when Paris hosts the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Rather than spending millions on new structures, France intends to repurpose existing buildings and set up temporary structures. In addition, many of France's architectural landmarks are being surrounded by greenery to add natural beauty to public spaces.

Focus on France:

  • France is the most popular vacation destination in the world, welcoming approximately 90 million foreign visitors every year.

  • France was the first country to ban supermarkets from tossing unsold food, requiring them to donate the extra to food banks or charities.

  • The Louvre is the most popular art museum in the world; 9.6 million visitors passed through its doors in 2019.

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Discussion Comments

anon1004401

So France is going to cut down all the trees instead of using bricks---typical.

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    • As of 2022, new public buildings in France must be built with at least 50% wood or other sustainable materials.
      As of 2022, new public buildings in France must be built with at least 50% wood or other sustainable materials.