Paris roof gardens
Plans are moving ahead for new rooftop garden projects in Paris, as French startup company Roofscapes awaits a decision on planning applications for two prototype projects in the first and tenth arrondissements.
Roofscapes, set up by three postgraduate French students who met at MIT in the US, hopes to create many such roof garden schemes in the capital.
They say the gardens can help lower temperatures in the city centre, which is warmer than outlying countryside, and encourage biodiversity.
They intend to build timber platforms that can fit over the traditional irregular, pitched grey zinc roofs.
Up to now, they say, roof gardens have been rare in France, and where they exist are usually minimal and typically found on flat modern roofs.
They hope building owners will take on the concept and make the new gardens accessible to all residents in the buildings (not just top-floor owners).
Roofscapes has contributed to the Paris at 50C project.
Energy audits for homes
When a property is put up for sale or rent in France, its owner must hire a professional to carry out a diagnostic de performance énergétique or DPE (energy performance certificate).
This uses a graded rating scheme – from A to G – to indicate how energy-efficient the property is and to encourage efforts to reduce its consumption.
Homes with the lowest energy efficiency ratings will soon be banned from the rental market unless they undergo renovations to make them more eco-friendly, as a result of the Loi Climat et résilience.
From January 1, 2023, people who own properties with an energy efficiency rating of G – the lowest score possible – and which also consume over 450kWH per square metre per year, will no longer be able to rent them out.
This rule will extend to all G-rated properties from 2025, all F-rated properties from 2028 and all E-rated properties from 2034.
Renovation grants experts
Homeowners applying for the MaPrimeRénov’ grant will this year be obliged to sign up for support from an expert called Mon Accompagnateur Rénov’ in certain cases.
This applies now for those aiming for overall home energy improvement via a Sérénité version of the grant.
From September, it will apply to those seeking grants of €10,000 or more for two or more works.
The work of the expert may be free or paid for, depending on local funding arrangements in your area and/or means. More information can be found at France-renov.gouv.fr
Swimming pool and shed tax rise
Taxe d’aménagement, payable on completion of swimming pools, sheds and other extensions and additions to properties, is rising, especially for pools.
A set value used to calculate the tax is going up 25% from €200 to €250 per square metre for pools.