The performance-oriented approach

This cross-disciplinary project reflects Efficacity’s ambition to redirect urban initiatives towards a performance-oriented approach, i.e. carrying an obligation of performance and not merely of best efforts.

  • Encourage the emergence of performance-oriented technical reference frameworks on which to base future labelling approaches
  • Contribute to the development of new forms of performance warranty at district scale


France already has numerous reference frameworks at the building scale and several initiatives under way at the district scale. At this stage, none of the latter includes a performance-oriented dimension.

On the international scene, a number of the major certification and labelling agencies have positioned themselves in this niche and are pushing for technical solutions favourable to their respective domestic markets. Furthermore, an ISO normative framework on the sustainable city is taking shape, to which Efficacity is a contributor.

Several calls for projects issued by major cities in France in 2017 included outline requests for district-scale performance monitoring to which the profession is unaccustomed, highlighting a pressing need for a neutral and consensual framework.

Our vision: a new culture of performance

The urban projects of the future will be designed according to integrated design management approaches accompanied by contractual undertakings over the medium to long term on quality of use and overall performance.

Performance will be evaluated robustly and consensually by means of a common, fully operational and scientifically validated analysis matrix.

Performance will be evaluated throughout the project’s upstream phases to guarantee the most efficient design choices, and during its lifetime to ensure that the targets set are met and/or provide matter for discussion between stakeholders on how best to improve results according to objectively established responsibilities.

Under such a performance-oriented approach, the challenges will be more legal, economic and governance-related than technological. New contractual frameworks, new roles, perhaps even new actors, will have to be invented to embody this much broader “eco-management” of existing urban projects and districts.

Our general R&D method

The project is fully coordinated with all Efficacity’s other R&D projects. It is founded on work under way on developing the new modelling tools that will be essential to performance evaluation and commitments, on the instrumentation capable of guaranteeing reliable operational monitoring of actual performance, and also on the environmental and socio-economic evaluation of projects.