In less than two months' time, Steria France will move into France's first large-scale energy-positive office building, built by Bouygues Immobilier. An Energy Performance Contract (EPC) has been drawn up to ensure that the building is run under the best possible economic and environmental conditions - another first in France.
At the end of 2009, Steria France launched a major project to bring together its facilities in one location in premises that could accommodate its considerable growth - while considering environmental concerns.
Following a selection process, Steria chose a building rated "Excellent" under BREEAM (*) standards: the Green Office® building designed by Bouygues Immobilier. This energy-positive building is located in Meudon, Hauts-de-Seine. At the same time, a contract was set up between the principal tenant, Steria France, the developer, Bouygues Immobilier, and the operator Exprimm, to control energy management of the facility.
Energy Performance Contract (EPC) basics
This contract is the first private Energy Performance agreement in France for office premises. Its purpose is to ensure optimum energy management for the facility.
There are three aspects to the EPC:
- Using less energy: the building requires less energy because it has been designed using bio-climatic principles, benefits from natural insulation, uses environmentally-friendly materials, and makes the most of the thermal inertia of concrete and of natural lighting
- Using alternative energies: it places users at the heart of energy management, making them responsible for their role in managing their own energy use
- Producing renewable energy: a solar power plant and a co-generation plant linked to the building produce electricity, some of which is used on the site itself, and some of which is sold to ERDF (**).
Energy consumption will be regulated by a set of procedures and practices, used together for the very first time:
- Layout principles ensuring user comfort
- A working environment and practices which match the design aspirations of the facility: conditions are controlled centrally but allow individuals a degree of personalisation due to preference
- Control and monitoring tools determined by type of use and area to enable energy consumption to be optimised, and ensuring continuous improvement of the building's energy performance.
As a result, Green Office® will consume 60% less energy than a traditional office building and 30% less than the best-performing buildings currently on the market. Ultimately, it will produce more energy than it uses.
Steria France: breaking new ground in sustainable office rental
From the outset, the building's architecture was designed to ensure occupants' physical and visual comfort. "For instance, the layout principles used are in line with the building's philosophy: partitions and furniture have been selected to optimise air circulation and make as much use of natural light as possible; lighter shades have been chosen for the fittings, and so on. We will also be explaining the principles for using the building to our employees. By being made aware of these practices and how they fit in with the facility's design aspirations, they themselves can play an active part in this revolution," explains François Pacoureau, Steria France's Head of Purchasing and General Resources.
"For example, instead of the staircases being poorly lit and inaccessible, as is often the case - with the result that they are little used - this building has a particularly visible central staircase providing access to all floors, as well as other well-located, naturally-lit stairs. The aim is simple: encouraging employees to use the stairs between adjacent floors. This will bring down the amount of electricity used to power lifts and encourage physical exercise on the part of our staff," adds François Pacoureau.
The EPC makes full use of the technical characteristics implemented for construction of the building: it ensures optimum energy use using tools that allow real-time adjustment of indoor conditions, in conjunction with other applications that monitor and report on energy use by type and area. "Over time, we will be able to optimise use of our office equipment by monitoring power consumption on each floor, encouraging the use of low-energy hardware and implementing simple energy-saving measures," says François Pacoureau.
Lastly, the EPC also deals with energy generation. Solar panels are installed along the whole length of the building, as well as in a co-generation plant which produces heat and electricity, using rapeseed oil supplied from the surrounding Ile de France region.
François Pacoureau concludes: "We will be able to conduct highly detailed analysis of energy use in each area, adjusting practices and allocating resources accordingly. What's more, we'll discover even more room for improvement as we come on stream, since there's never been a building like this in France before."
(*): BREEAM is the reference standard for sustainable construction, and has become the standard assessment method for describing a building's environmental performance.
(**): ERDF : Electricité Réseau Distribution France is the French company managing the distribution of electricity in France
About Steria: www.steria.com
Founded in 1969, Steria has offices in Europe, India, North Africa and SE Asia and a 2010 revenue of ¤1.7 billion. 20%(*) of Steria's capital is owned by its employees. Headquartered in Paris, Steria is listed on the Euronext Paris market.
(*): including the Employees Shares Trust in the UK
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