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Cogneau-Lamirande school group : an exemplary bioclimatic building in Guyana

Cogneau-Lamirande school group gathers a kindergarten and a primary school with 6 classrooms in each. Located on a site where the levelling work had already been done for a previous project, the school group was designed according to the Amazonia Environment Quality (QEA) approach, adapting itself to the existing levelling while being oriented to take advantage of the wind and sun.

The first positive energy bioclimatic building in Guyana

The Headquarters of the Guyana Local Planning and Development Authority is the first positive-energy bioclimatic building on Guyanese territory.

Positioned downwind, covered with solar protection, well insulated and taking advantage of the natural light, the building is made of local wood and produces enough energy for its cooling, lighting and functioning thanks to a field of photovoltaic panels which will also enable electric vehicles to be recharged in the longer run. 

E+C- House by Ecolocost : an affordable and sustainable wooden frame house

This house aims to demonstrate that it is possible to build a revolutionary house that looks conventional, and on top of that in record time for only 200 euros per square metre more than an RT2012 house.

The key characteristics are:

-          Its compactness: an 82-square-metre, 3-bedroom house that’s functional and respects the essentials of quality housing in all respects (air, noise and comfort);

Integrating sustainable development into infrastructure projects

A reference framework, composed of 17 goals divided into 4 commitments, has been defined in order to help project owners, local authorities and developers to build their construction or infrastructure renovation projects while taking sustainable development challenges into account.

This guide provides operational examples and, in this way, proposes to break down each of the 17 goals into 4 commitments and different themes, whose application depends on the type of infrastructure, as follows:

Commitment: Responsible Management

EcoQuartiers: what lessons can be learned?

Based on the analysis of the 39 French EcoQuartier labelled operations in 2013, 2014 and 2015, located in most of the major French regions, Cerema's publicaton "EcoQuartiers, what lessons can be learned?" aims to overcome preconceived ideas and develop collective representations. What is really new in these projects? What is the difference between a 1970s or 1980s development project and today’s so-called "sustainable" urban projects?

“Green landscaping” guide

Today, more and more architects, urban planners, landscapers, architects and public spaces designers are integrating greenery into their projects: trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses, creeping along walls and facades, invading rooftops and terraces, growing from tramlines to sidewalks cracks, in the form of micro-planting. These green spaces are called upon to design eco-districts, to make up parks and gardens, to respond to inhabitants’ nature demands and to reenchant the city of tomorrow. 

RFSC, The Reference framework for sustainable cities

The Reference Framework for European Sustainable Cities (RFSC), which was made available free of charge for European cities and local authorities at the beginning of 2013, provides a reference framework for the development of territorial strategies and urban project that, in an integrated fashion, takes the four pillars of sustainable development into account. As the result of four years of work between 17 different countries, of which Cerema was the technical backbone, the RFSC offers online support for the implementation of sustainability principles in local policies and actions.

Circular economy: let’s take the lead!

In January 2018, AdCF devoted the special feature section of its monthly review “Intercommunalités” to the circular economy. It explores the potential of this new model of sustainable development on a territorial scale: industrial ecology, financing and profitability, leverage of public procurement etc. All the challenges of the sector for local authorities are addressed and illustrated by concrete projects implemented by local council communities.

Investing in everyday transport : a 10-year programme and an unprecedented bicycle plan

This thematic study published by l’ADCF introduces and comments on the 5 priority investment programmes in favour of transport and mobility. In September 2018, it was made public by Mrs Elisabeth Borne, the French Minister of Transport and Mr Edouard Philippe, the French Prime Minister in Angers. It covers network maintenance and modernisation , unblocking the railway network, opening up medium-sized cities towns and rural areas, developing clean mobility and modal shift in freight transports.

Publication of European waste directives: what are the implications?

This article published by l’AdCF presents the new European directives on waste management, including directives on waste, landfill, end-of-life vehicles, batteries and WEEE, and packaging waste. It provides an overview of the new European objectives and rules in force in the circular economy that will be transposed into French law by 2020, as well as a technical glossary clarifying certain terms used in these directives.

Waste heat recovery in the Halluin waste-to-energy (WTE) processing plant

All economic and geographical sectors are potentially affected by the benefits of the circular economy. Cities are nevertheless particularly central in these transformations because of the amplifying nature of the human concentrations present there.

Ministry of Defence National Centre for Sports : a renovation integrated in the remarkable Fontainebleau forest

Located in the heart of the Fontainebleau forest, the renovation and expansion of the Ministry of Defence National Sports Centre raised the challenge of a unique and fragile ecosystem. Such a project required a sustainable development policy from the design phase to minimise the impact of the process on the surrounding environment. Therefore, existing fauna and flora protection and conservation, soil protection, rain water management,  material recycling and the rational use of space were taken into account throughout the entire project.

Terr’innove: a new partnership to support territories in their energy transition challenges

ENGIE has evolved in order to better meet local expectations and be as close as possible to local issues and authorities. ENGIE helps territories to become:

More sustainable

More efficient

More innovative

More attractive

By collaborating with them to develop tailor-made solutions to address their concerns:

Help local governments make better use of their local energy resources and provide more efficient and efficient services

Provide greener, more competitive energy

Boost the local economy

Optimising the local energy mix in planning and development

Territories are at the heart of energy and ecological transition. While urban planning and development actors have numerous tools at their disposal to guide their energy choices, they may have difficulties connecting them and putting them into practice to meet the objectives set out in the Energy Transition Law  for Green Growth and the Climate Plan. Sharing this observation, ADEME and GRDF wanted to work on an approach aimed at strengthening the complementarity of energies and networks.

ELECTRIFIC – Smart electromobility

ELECTRIFIC seeks to develop new technologies to ensure that recharge cycles adapt to network capacity while increasing the use of renewable energies.

The project aims to provide suggestions for drivers on how to recharge their vehicles for an even greater impact on the electricity grid.

This requires collecting network data (power quality), charging station data (energy availability, share of renewable energy), charging plans, battery status and, finally, driver needs.

Ametyst methanization plant

All economic and geographic sectors are potentially affected by the benefits of the circular economy. Cities are nevertheless particularly central to these transformations because of the amplifying nature of the human concentrations present there.

City of smart, digital territories

The smart city and the digital transition are a way for urban planning agencies to rethink their philosophy of action, their missions and the evolution of their businesses to guide the transformation of the territories in they work. The National Federation of Urban Planning Agencies (FNAU) has therefore devoted a major part of its 2017-2018 action agency to developing digital technology. A survey of the urban planning agencies was conducted in early 2017 to better understand the actions and territorial strategies employed.

Reference framework for the assessment of AEU2 planning operations

Assessment is a determining principle of the AEU2 ( French acronym standing for Environmental Approach for Urban Planning 2) ; the assessment process integrated in a cross-cutting way into the planning project helps understand and better qualify the values of this project. Evaluation is not an end in itself but a means to achieve the perpetual improvement of a project or planning practices.

Citizen’s involvement

A few years ago in France, facilitating dialogue with inhabitants on urban planning was still seen as a potential added value to projects, if one had the time or means to do so. Today, it is becoming clear that collaborative urban planning, uniting a number of stakeholders, including inhabitants, is an effective project method.

#CIVICTECH - Cap Digital prospective report

Produced by Cap Digital at the end of 2016, this prospective report highlights a whole series of questions, concerning the disinterest of the citizens for the public thing, their mistrust toward those who embody it, resulting in low voter turnout and polarization towards extremes.

6 proposals for sustainable city

Based on the experience of its members, the French Network for Sustainable City (IVD) has come up with 6 proposals to accelerate the deployment of sustainable cities in all contexts, notably by improving city governance and innovation support.

Ivry-sur-Seine Emergency shelter : decent housing for asylum seeker

Ivry-sur-Seine emergency shelter is located on the brownfield site of the water treatment plant, an extensive 90 000-square-metre parcel belonging to the City of Paris.

The shelter is part of the response to the arrival of around 60 persons per day within intra-mural Paris, women, children and men fleeing war-torn countries or misery. It was designed to shelter 400 persons, families, couples and isolated women for 2 to 6 months, while they apply for asylum. This settlement is temporary, supposed to last 5 years at most.

Thales campus : a site designed to enhance employees’ well-being

The architect Jean-Philippe Le Covec was in charge of designing the new site of Thales Group in Bordeaux Merignac. Ultra-modern and high environmental performance building, it was conceived to improve the occupants’ performance and well-being. It spans 9 buildings at the heart of a landscaped park:

At the entrance of the site, a whole building is dedicated to the reception and services, with a company restaurant, a business centre, a space for the employee representative committee, a showroom as well as numerous meeting rooms,

Société Générale « The Dunes » : an unprecedented mode of work in an exemplary building on an environmental prospective

The architecture of the Société Générale’s campus, “The Dunes”, which is wave-shaped, expresses the group’s willingness to differentiate itself, as much from the viewpoint of architectural innovation than from a societal perspective. This project breaks away from mainstream offices. Its main objective is to provide a place where it is pleasant to work.

Operation Magnolias

Operation Magnolias is a CDC Habitat project of  23 collective housing units in Toulouse. It was awarded the ADEME Midi-Pyrénées region’s call for economical building projects. This project was set up within the context of urban densification in order to reduce financial and ecological costs. Constraints stemming from existing buildings and limited space have encouraged the implementation of exemplary environmental initiatives. The materials used are partly bio-sourced and allow prefabrication to limit construction site nuisances.

Wooden frame and bioclimatic operations building at Aubevoye’s water treatment plant

Aubevoye’s water treatment plant meets the requirements of the innovative HQE process, offering a bioclimatic operations building with a Douglas pine tree wooden frame.

The natural and high performance materials used enable a safe, comfortable and long-lasting construction which is also positive-energy thanks to a photovoltaic roof. The building is oriented on a North/South axis, benefiting from an optimal sunshine over the winter, while in summer the heat is dissipated thanks to the dual-flow ventilation system and the sun-breaker devices on the roof.

Triballat: a building made of prefabricated hemp wood-concrete

Triballat Noya is a dairy factory committed to organic and green farming. In order to accommodate its IT services, the company decided to resort to an innovative eco-design process: the building using locally-sourced, organic materials, made of hemp concrete, a plant whose seeds are harvested by the company for their food products. The idea was to design a building that would like them, enhance the agricultural sector and minimise its environmental impact.

Collective housing: “the countryside in Paris”

“The countryside in Paris” project is a collective housing project in Paris’ 20th arrondissement. The main challenge for the contracting authority was to find a balance between construction cost, sustainability and environmental quality. The dwellings are divided into small town houses and smaller collective housing, which have been designed to minimise tenants’ costs.

Mozaik : an exceptional office renovation project

Mozaik is a renovation project of an 18 000-square-metre office building complex, spanning 8 superstructure floors, adaptable and convertible according to occupants’ needs. Well-being, comfort and respect for the environment were at the heart of the implementation of the project.

Studies carried out beforehand helped identify the best equipment and materials for this purpose, and 90% of the waste from the construction site was recovered. Mosaik was selected to take part in the HQE Performance test, which assesses the environmental performance of buildings.

Framework of definition Circular Economy in the building

This document, fruit of a strong interprofessional co-construction and usable by all, is co-signed by the Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition, the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion, ADEME, CSTB and the Association OREE. By shared benchmarks, common vocabularies understandable by all, the framework of definition of the circular economy in the building wishes to help the actors of the sector of the building and the real estate to better apprehend the circular economy and to act, to facilitate transversality and encourage different stakeholders to work together.

Sunny, Axa regional headquarters : smart offices encouraging exchange between employees

Located in Isneauville, close to Rouen, “Sunny” is the new regional headquarters of Axa. This new real estate complex is made of 3 buildings connected by broad glazed walkways. The project was developed through BIM from the beginning, to reach the final objective: a digital executed works file (DOE).

On foot or by bike? While Paris walks, Amsterdam pedals

Amsterdam has made sustainable mobility a key feature of its brand, as shown in the stunning images of bike highways across the country. Today, every city is angling to become as bike-friendly as the Dutch capital. Paris is also pursuing this dream, overshadowing the fact it is already the world champion for an even more sustainable form of mobility: walking.

Public procurement legal tools for innovative urban projects

This report has was produced by the law firm LexCity as part of the working group led by the French Network for the Sustainable City on “New legal tools for innovative urban projects”. Its objective is to analyse, identify and clarify the benefits and best practices of public law legal tools for urban innovation. These tools are also a means of cooperation between public and private actors.

Private law legal tools for innovative urban projects

This report was produced by the law firm LexCity as part of the working group led by the French Network for the Sustainable City on “New legal tools for innovative urban projects”. Its objective is to analyse and identify the various private law legal tools in effect that may facilitate urban innovation projects.

Patrick Cazal Sports Hall : a climate shelter in the heart of Reunion Island

The Patrick Cazal Sports Hall, located within a 35ha leisure park in Saint Denis (Reunion Island), was designed as a climatic shelter. A passive and porous building (not waterproof nor hermetic), it provides users’ thermal and acoustic comfort. Thanks to its architectonics textile, the roof can let natural light in while being able to withstand cyclonic winds. The micro-perforated textile frontage also enables natural ventilation and lighting.

The sustainable building reference framework

The sustainable building reference framework of the HQE-GBC Alliance concerns all building and real estate stakeholders who wish to enter a progressive approach in favor of the quality of life, respect for the environment and economic performance. It applies to all types of new buildings, existing, renovation or operation. Made up of principles, commitments and objectives, it proposes a structuring vision in order to support the actors and to facilitate the operational implementation of sustainable buildings.

« Le Fil » shared housing

A group of residents from Le Bono, initially representing 6 households, decided to gather around common values in 2010 to design a shared housing project. Drafting a Charter starting from a founding text that combines living together, environmental concern and the social and solidary economy provided the common thread for the design and implementation of this project, which bears its name: “the Thread” (“le fil” in French).

Straw-bale nursery in Muël

The Pays Saint Méen Montauban urban community decided to use 90% biosourced materials to build this nursery on its territory. Straw bales, wood and clay soil are therefore the main resources making up this construction. The urban community also called for citizens’ involvement as part of a participatory construction site and all the stakeholders were consulted in the process.

Guyana Forest and Wood House : a technological showcase of the Guyanese wood sector

The Guyana Forest and Wood House is promoting the Guyanese wood sector. The building was developed as a demonstrator of the originality and performance of this sector. The Peyi wood was selected to meet the architectural and natural resources management requirements. The building’s different volumes and heights address the needs of the program, which welcomes not only the public but also a research lab and offices. The structure also meets the climate requirements (natural ventilation, solar protection…)  of the site.

The Elisabethan Theatre of Hardelot castle : a naturally ventilated theatre

The Elizabethan theatre of Hardelot Castle is located at the heart of the Condette wetland natural reserve, not far away from the coastline and exposed to the wind. This building, designed from spruce concentric cylinders is the first project of naturally ventilated theatre. It offers to the audience a close relation to the stage while meeting the environmental requirements intended by the Pas de Calais local government (bioclimatic building, thermal inertia, natural ventilation…)

Positive energy and modular wooden creche

In order to welcome children, even during hot weather in an area with little shade, Saint Siérés city council (34) wished to equip itself with an eco-built creche. Thanks in particular to its photovoltaic roof and its green curtains made of vines, the building is protected from the heat whilst benefitting from self-sustaining sunlight.


The B’Est Commercial Zone, a 55,000 square metre area located in the heart a former Lorrain coalfield on the German border, was designed with stict sustainable development objectives in mind.

The project aims to be BREEAM and HQE Planning certified and has therefore tried to implement solutions that address all the challenges of sustainability, such as renewable energies, biodiversity, societal and local dimension, water saving and alternative modes of transport etc. 

URMA de Bruay / Saint-Saulve School : a high energetic performance building

Committed to a regional transition towards sustainable development, the Hauts de France regional council has led the way for constructing a building capable of taking advantage of all the natural resources available on site. The Urma de Bruay /Saint-Saulve School building, which houses more than 1,300 apprentices and teachers, was therefore designed with the aim of reducing thermal requirements. This was possible thanks to windows that allow air to be preheated, shafts that naturally generate cool or warm air thanks to natural ventilation and an exhaust heat recovery system.

Transforming and expanding a market hall into a Kindergarten

Boutours kindergarten’s 9 classes rooms were built by recycling and expanding a former market hall. The entire construction process has been designed to be ecological, participatory, civic and educational. The materials are bio-sourced (mud bricks) and the building emits very little carbon, throught both its materials used and its heating system.  

The kindergarten’s pupils and citizens were enlisted during the construction phase of the building.  

Exemplary eco-renovation of a tertiary building : KTR French Headquarters

For the settlement of its France Headquarters in Dardilly (69) the German group KTR decided to perform an exemplary eco renovation of a building from the 1970’s, following priority objectives:

Converting the initial building to a positive energy building, that tends toward energy self-sufficiency,

Adopting a low carbon process thanks to the use of bio-sourced materials or recycled materials

Developing a smart and connected building,

Help to bring a quality of work life and sanitary quality for the building’s users

Astuce & Tic

All economic and geographical sectors are potentially affected by the benefits of the circular economy. Cities are nevertheless particularly central in these transformations because of the amplifying nature of the human concentrations present there.

The Albero

The Albero is a renovation project of an office tower built in 1979 in Guyancourt (78).

The choice of a wooden frame façade makes it possible to isolate the building from the outside and bring aesthetics, comfort and ergonomics to this workplace to improve the user’s quality of life.

Materials were selected for their low carbon emissions and construction site pollutants were minimised.


The Grenoble technology hub was delivered in 2017 by Schneider Electric to accommodate the group’s employees. This building is intended to be an energy performance “living lab”, so that the group’s cutting-edge technologies can be deployed for a high level of performance. The building is connected thanks to the implementation of numerous Internet of Things (IoT) solutions with smart controllers, sensors and electric boards etc, which enable advanced control of the building’s energy management, access and security.


This office building, which houses 35 workstations, was designed with a sober approach:

With its discrete architecture, it fits perfectly into the rural landscape,
Its environmental impact has been minimised by using bio-sourced materials (wood, staw and mud bricks) with low grey energy
As a “low tech” building, it is not equipped with fixed heating but has reinforced insulation and photovoltaic panels enabling it to produce 7 times more energy than it consumes.
Low construction cost

L6, the positive energy and water laboratory

L6, the Oréal group’s new research lab, was built on a former 2 hectare car junk yard. Its design had 2 objectives: environmental excellence and employee well-being.

The creative banks of the Escaut River

All economic and geographical sectors are potentially affected by the benefits of the circular economy. Cities are nevertheless particularly central in these transformations because of the amplifying nature of the human concentrations present there.

Pécs: straw and wood to reduce carbon footprint

All economic and geographical sectors are potentially affected by the benefits of the circular economy. Cities are nevertheless particularly central in these transformations because of the amplifying nature of the human concentrations present there.

This fact sheet is part of a series on innovative solutions for the sustainable city related to the circular economy.

Wattway Pack

The Wattway Autonomous Generator is a turnkey solution designed to provide energy autonomy to roadside equipment.

It consists of photovoltaic panels glued directly on the road which are connected to a buried storage system, making it possible to connect and power all your equipment.

The ex post evaluation methodology for the PIA VDD (programme of investments for innovation to build the City of tomorrow)

After developing the ex post evaluation methodology for the PIA VDD (programme of investments for innovation to build the City of tomorrow, also called EcoCité approach) for Caisse des Dépôts over 2016-2017, Efficacity has now signed up to a three-year R&D partnership designed to support the ex post evaluation of EcoCités territories.


Launching of the new research project Quartier E+C-: Positive and low-carbon energy development operations

The consortium federating the CSTB, Elioth, l’Alliance HQE-GBC, Efficacity, Effinergie, Certivéa, l’Association BBCA and Atlantech recently won the call for research projects during ADEME’s 4th edition of: «Towards responsible buildings before 2020».


Quartier E+C-, the winning project, aims to develop and test a carbon energy assessment method at the neighbourhood level.


The project will revolve around three stages:


The Convergence project was awarded the National Golden Pyramid Grand Prix from the National Federation of Real Estate Developers. This histori conversion of the St Joseph prison into a future centre attracting the Greater Lyon metropolis.  Occupying 10,600 square meters, this space welcoming tertiary activities, was built from part of the walls of the former prison. The façades provide an architectural and technical quality to the building allowing its thermal and acoustic insulation.

Advanced Solutions for integrated waste recovery

As a result of population growth, urbanization and economic development, global waste production is increasing exponentially. To address the social, economic and environmental challenges that step from this production, SUEZ has developed a suite of five flexible and complementary solutions to optimize its waste recycling and recovery services.