Good practice

Ecocert in France creates its own energy positive building

Ecocert in France creates its own energy positive building
© Petair, image #64478546, source:
All sectors, Office and administration
High cost
Annual saving:
Resource savings: Energy:
Energy surplus of 70 870 kWh per year
Resource savings: Raw material:
Quantity of bio-sourced materials: 143 kg/m2
Premises and operation areas:
Office building
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Leading by example...

  • Geothermal energy, PV solar panels, insulating materials
  • Building produces 1.4 kWh energy per 1 kWh consumed
  • Quantity of bio-sourced materials: 143 kg/m2

Ecocert, a French certification body for sustainable development, led by example when it decided to build an energy positive premises. The building has four floors or levels covering a total area of 2 025 m2 accommodating Ecocert's 140 employees.The combination of geothermal energy with photovoltaic solar panels and insulating materials resulted in a fully energy positive building. 

The building is compact, with a timber and straw frame construction (850 bunches of 21 kg bio-sourced materials and 400 tonnes of wood). The use of high thermal insulation materials limits heating and cooling requirements, the latter being supplied by an 88 kW heat pump resting on geothermal probes. A special air-flow system under the parking area meets the cooling needs of the building. The 298 m2 of windows provide natural light for 80 % of the office space, with the rest illuminated by compact and efficient fluorescent tubes and LEDs. A set of 497 m2 solar panels was installed to generate electricity, which is then sold to EDF, an energy company.

Key benefits

The building's design, materials and use of renewables is a showcase of what can be achieved. Annually, it produces 232 200 kWh of energy and yet only consumes 161 330 kWh. That means 1.4 kWh energy produced for 1 kWh consumed, resulting in € 7 700 annual upside, or € 3.8 per m2 per year.

The total cost of the construction was € 3.9 million (€ 1 670 per m2) and it took 15 months to complete.


"In addition to the technical phase, where we worked closely with the architect and local companies, we also accompanied the users in their assimilation to this new building. Very early on, they were able to express their desires and expectations for the different areas. Presentations and site visits were then regularly organised, and an overall visit immediately after the move allowed everyone to identify the new office layout. In the end, the feedback was very positive, whether in terms of ergonomics, acoustics, thermal comfort or ambience." - Mr Matthieu Hauvuy, head of general services at Ecocert 

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