Reducing energy use through energy-efficient technologies and systems has become the norm. Real leaders are now creating carbon-neutral and positive-energy buildings. 2012 Zayed Future Energy Prize winner Schneider Electric is a clear leader in this realm.
In France, Schneider Electric helped Bouygues Immobilier, a French property development company, create the world’s largest positive-energy building. Work on the Green Office®, located in Meudon, actually started back in 2008, before there were any other large-scale positive-energy buildings in the world. The building is 23,000 m2 and leasing began in 2011.
So, the question is: how did the office building get to the point where it was producing more energy than it was using?
“It is fitted with high performance insulation, has no air conditioning, is cooled by natural ventilation, heated by a biomass CHP (combined heat and power) boiler, and is fitted with a photovoltaic plant,” says Marie-Annick Le Bars, project manager of the first Green Office. “It is a reduced energy, economical, and eco-friendly model.”
One of the technologies used in the building to cut energy use is “one of the most advanced building management systems on the market,” according to Schneider Electric. “EcoStruxure integrates disparate building systems into a single platform with a user-friendly interface. It enables the aggregation of data from multiple systems, allowing customers to see, measure, and manage environmental metrics across their building portfolio. Armed with actionable information, customers can achieve today's goals while having visibility into portfolio performance to meet future green and energy mandates.”
“We rely on three tools,” explains Laurent Lebouchard, director of energy efficiency for Exprimm, the building operator. “The main one is the Schneider Electric building management system for control of all the technical systems.We have also set up an IT system that enables maintenance of the technical equipment to be carried out and allows occupants who are too hot or too cold to send computerized intervention requests. Finally, the building incorporates a tool that gathers all the parameters affecting energy consumption, such as weather, occupancy, opening times, and inside temperature. This system saves the data and enables us to show the client that the objectives are met.” Occupant education and engagement is another essential aspect that affects energy performance. Several months before building occupation, Exprimm started working with Steria, the incoming tenant, to produce an occupant guide to help make employees aware of the characteristics and objectives of the building.
In total, Green Office produces 62 kWh/m2/yr and consumes 39 kWh/m2/yr.
Image Credits: Graphix Images / Green Office