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Positive energy buildings: le Parc de l’Ensoleillée in Aix-en-Provence

Wyróżniony Przypadek June 2014
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This positive energy construction exemplifies an aesthetic, ecological and modular technique which focuses on fast implementation using an integrated process; designing, assembling and installing solid wood panels in the walls and floors.

Location:  Chemin des Piboules, 13100 Aix en Provence, France. Immediate vicinity of the city center, near the shopping area of Milles, and 15 minutes from the TGV train station.

Project management:

TANGRAM: architects
WOA: solar shading design
BG21: thermal design

Time Schedule:
Design: 2008 – July 2010
Construction: October 2010 - October 2013
Delivery: October 2013 (buildings 1-4) January 2014 (building 5)

Construction and exploitation costs:
Cost/m² : 1.200 €/m²

Purchased by the company FONCIÈRE INEA ( - the portfolio is available here.

The complex consists of a total of five buildings; four 2 storey office buildings which occupy three terraced platforms descending to the South and one solitary building to the left of the others which has a South Eastern orientation.  Each building has between 890 to 2160 m2 of usable space and the occupants have access to a bike rack and car parking with charging stations for electric cars.

The eco-design of the building emphasizes a solid wood frame structure along with its energy performance equipment:  Photovoltaic hidden roof panels, reversible air/water heat pump system, an innovative solarshading system which uses adjustable electric blinds.


Eco-Design in the Building Envelope

The final result is a 100% wood-frame building - with the only exception being the foundation and a concrete slab on the ground floor. A month-by-month video is available of the construction stages of  ¨ l’Ensoleillée parc¨ showing the assembly of each building that was completed on an average of 13 working days.

The modular concept comes from the Nexity company’s Ywood Business. Each wood module is manufactured individually. Nonetheless, they all have a common factor. The modules are comprised of a 30 cm thickness and made up of a simple material composition: a solid wood panel made of spruce, a layer of wood fiber insulation, a moisture protection film, a small ventilated air cavity and an outer finish with wood laminates.


construction detail


Eco-Design in the Energy Performance

Regarding its energy performance, dual certification has been granted by BEPOS (positive energy building consumption) and Gold Level (carbon footprint for design and construction stages) according to specially selected systems:

A total of 1145 m² of photovoltaic panels are installed in each building with a special rooftop terrace designed specifically for this function.

Reversible air/water heat pump and dual flow ventilation system.

The solar shading system has been executed in two ways:

-An exterior balcony mobile structure covering the full height of the building, installed only on the South facing façades and composed of a metal base structure of railings guided by wooden posts which move the angle of the balcony’s roof to the top and down in order to leverage/avoid the sun light.

-Sunscreens installed on eastern and western façades.


Adjustable LED lighting system with movement sensors in transitable zones.

Abundant green space between buildings which ensures more comfort for the occupant and harmonizes sustainability.

More Detailed Building Features:

Surface Area
13270 m² Land area
6771 m² Total built area (43%)
6649 m² Usable floor area for 5 buildings in R +2:
1195 m² Building 1 and 2
2160 m² Building 3
1209 m² Building 4
890 m² Building 5

140 parking spaces for cars covered with vegetable pergolas, Bicycle parking and car charging stations for electric cars.

Accessible to persons with reduced mobility.

Energy data

-Primary energy demand: 74,00 KWh PE/ m² year

-Need primary energy building standard: 153,00 KWh PE/ m² year

- buildings consume less energy than they produce, including solar panels, which allows for a BEPOS Level of  -15,80 KWh PE/ m² year (actual consumption of the building will be followed for at least two years)

-U-Value for the module of Ywood Business: 0,43 W/ m² K

-GHG emissions in use: 0,83 kg CO2/ m² year

Systems Data

-Heating: Heat pump with Fan coils

-DHW: Individual electric water heaters

-Cooling: Reversible air/water heat pump and HVR (Heat Recovery Ventilator) Fan coil system

-Ventilation: Night ventilation, Natural Ventilation, Single and Double air-flow Heat Exchanger

-Intelligent LED system with temperature sensors and adjustable lighting system with suitable movement sensors in transitable zones

-Renewable energy: 111KWp of Solar Photovoltaic Panels

-Renewable energy: 120.00 %


-On April 10, the “Construction 21” portal announced the winners of the Green Building Solutions Awards 2014 and L'Ensoleillée won first place.

-The Pyramide d'Argent – Prix de l'innovation 2013 (arranged by La Fédération des Promoteurs Immobiliers des Bouches-du-Rhône (FPI)) for its two energy performance labels.

-Positive Energy Building (BEPOS) being the first business complex with positive energy and a solid wood structure in France.

-Project classified as "Gold Level" as an Exemplary Mediterranean Building through a Call for Proposals launched by ADEME, the PACA Regional Council and the Association Bâtiments Durables Méditerranéens (BDM).




Acronym of the case

Ywood - Aix

Lessons learnt

n/a at present time

Award labels

Additional documents

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