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La Maison du tourisme de Troyes (Aube, France): Energy renovation with a concrete hemp envelope

Wyróżniony Przypadek January 2015
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The Tourist Information Centre in Troyes is a timber-framed construction located in the town centre (16 Rue Aristide Briand). The original building was the home of a wealthy XIII century merchant.  After being burnt by a fire in 1524, it was then reconstructed and declared public property. The last refurbishment of the building started in 2011 and finished 2 years later. One of the objectives of the municipality has been to promote this type of thermal renovation in similar buildings located in the historical centre.


Approach to sustainability


The main intention of the refurbishment project was to achieve high levels of energy performance, safety, comfort and environmental sustainability without affecting the exceptional heritage of the building.  This project has been supported by l’Ecole nationale des travaux publics de l’Etat (ENTPE) and the main aspects to be highlighted are:


  • Use of hemp concrete: Traditionally, in Troyes, buildings have been built based on timber-framed structures made by poplar slats (called 'palisson') and trimmed cob (a mix of sand, mud, straw and other materials). In this project, hemp concrete has been used to fill the timber-framed walls, the roof and floor screeds. The typical renovation with concrete hemp has been limited to installing a layer of 10-13 cm of hemp over the insulation layer. In this case, however, the insulation layer was completely replaced by 30 cm of concrete hemp. This approach was undertaken in order to improve the conductivity and the hygrothermal transfer capacity of the walls.
  • Acoustic management (soundproofing) of the building: An acoustic study was conducted in order to reduce outdoor noise perception and indoor noise propagation. The solution for the flooring system was to add plaster and cellulose plates on a 3 cm bed of gravel which imitates a honeycomb structure. A solution for eliminating the noise caused by the heat pump was to construct a building system room for all the HVAC equipment in the basement of the new extension and installing special acoustic soundproofing;
  • Heritage and preservation of existing materials: A dendrochronology study was conducted for dating wood and analysing pigments in order to select the best restoration strategy. Ochre, brown and green color pigmentations were found according to the construction style of the XVI century. In order to imitate the original colours, sand from the Bourgogne area was used in the restoration. The original foundation and structures were preserved (reuse of joists and wood beams, adaptation of structural elements, restoration of stones and original bricks) in order to minimize the environmental impact of demolition. Other materials like hemp, wood and terracotta tiles were also locally sourced in l'Aube department.

Project management

Ville de Troyes (Municipality)



Claire Perron (Direction des bâtiments Troyes)



Thermal Design consultants: MCI Thermique

Acoustic consultants: Lesli

Structure consultants: IDS

Quality consultants: Qualiconsult

Risk prevention coordinator: CSBTB



Construction works: Léon Noel SAS (demolition, masonry, hemp concrete, building stone) and Entreprise Capristo (insulated screed floor)


Products used:

Timber frames: Les Charpentiers de Troyes

Hemp concrete Tradical® PF 70 BCB (Groupe Lhoist)

Hemp plaster Tradical® PF 80 M BCB (Groupe Lhoist)

Stucco sand lime Tradical® PF 80 BCB (Groupe Lhoist)


Time schedule

Design: 2009

Restoration works: February 2011 - May 2013 (20 months)

Delivery: July 2013


Total surface area

Net floor area: 712 m2

The interior space of the building can be viewed at Google Maps

The building footprint consists of two parts, the historic building and a new extension. It has been organized into five levels which are accessible by stairs or lift:

  • basement: multi-purpose room, the building system room and storage;
  • ground floor: reception area which consists of a Tourist Information Centre and shop, public toilets which are accessible from the street;
  • first floor: conference room which accomodates 66 people, bathrooms and office spaces;
  • second floor and attic: offices, lounge room, kitchen and bathrooms.


Construction and exploitation costs

Estimated total cost: € 2.680.000 including VAT

  • Construction work supported by funding from ADEME, French government, Grand Troyes, Region Champagne-Ardenne and Ville de Troyes;
  • Energy monitoring works financed by ADEME, La Chanvriere de l'Aube, EDF, Grand Troyes, Region Champagne-Ardenne and Ville de Troyes.


Energy consumption

  • Primary energy need:  108,29 kWh PE/m2/year
  • Primary energy need for standard building:  185,82 kWh PE/m2/year


U-values or Envelope performance

U-Value average:           0,92 W.m-2.K-1

  • Timber-framed walls, roof and floor screeds (mainly oak) with a thickness of 30 cm filled hemp concrete and finished with lime plaster on surface. Roof is filled with hemp concrete between beams and covered with flat terracotta tiles;
  • Double glazing with argon gas.


System performance

  • Heating and cooling system: Multi-split air conditioners which use variable refrigerant flow control (similar to Daikin VRV systems)
  • Hot water system: Joule heating (resistive heating)
  • Ventilation system: Double flow heat exchanger with presence detectors in rooms, extraction regulated by time programming
  • Lighting system: Low-energy fluorescent and LED with presence sensors and magnetic loops.
  • Renewable system: None
  • All existing systems are automatized and controlled by BMS.


Awards won

  • Certified with BBC réno tertiaire label for thermal performance;
  • Winner of PREBAT Champagne-Ardenne 2011 in “Efficient renovation with environmental quality" category award supported by the regional delegation of ADEME and the region Champagne-Ardenne.


Additional information available here:



Original source C21 platform

Innovant à plus d’un titre, le chantier de la Maison du tourisme de la ville de Troyes se veut emblématique. L’objectif poursuivi par la ville : promouvoir les travaux de rénovation thermique dans le secteur sauvegardé. Pour y parvenir, le maître d’ouvrage, qui est aussi le maître d’œuvre, a choisi une enveloppe 100% chanvre.

La restauration, l’extension et la transformation d’un immeuble communal en Maison du tourisme au cœur du secteur sauvegardé de la ville de Troyes constituaient un laboratoire à ciel ouvert. Le bâtiment à pans de bois, conformément à la tradition locale (parties anciennes et nouvelles), est en effet doté d’une enveloppe tout chanvre : plancher bas, toiture, mur et enduit. Instrumentée, elle sera étudiée de près dans le cadre d’un partenariat (*) autour d’un programme scientifique et technique développé par l’Ecole nationale des travaux publics de l’Etat (ENTPE, Lyon). Avec le double objectif de démontrer la performance énergétique d’une restauration du bâti traditionnel troyen en chanvre et de compléter les connaissances du chanvre-construction.


Cette opération s’inscrit dans une démarche de qualité environnementale et vise les performances thermiques du label BBC rénovation. Elle est lauréate de l’appel à projets PREBAT Champagne-Ardenne 2011 «Réhabilitations performantes à qualité environnementale» porté par la délégation régionale de l’ADEME et la Région Champagne-Ardenne.


  • rassembler les locaux de l’Office de Tourisme de Troyes et les services municipaux chargés de la promotion de la ville dans un lieu emblématique de son patrimoine architectural;
  • restaurer et réhabiliter le bâtiment ancien selon le plan de sauvegarde et de mise en valeur (PSMV) dans le respect de la réversibilité et du parcellaire du XIII° siècle;
  • mettre en valeur et conserver les traces représentatives de l’évolution du bâtiment notamment au niveau des façades;
  • adapter un bâtiment du XVIe siècle en pans de bois en un ERP (établissement recevant du public) en veillant au confort des usager et au respect des règlements d’accessibilité, d’acoustique et de thermique.

Lire l'article Moniteur "Rénovation thermique : une enveloppe 100% chanvre pour la Maison du tourisme de Troyes"







Lessons learnt

The previous use of the Maison was as a public touristic information centre. However, after the last retrofitting, the building has begun to be used as an open-air pilot building laboratory to demonstrate how hemp can improve the energy performance in buildings while respecting the traditional local architecture.

Award labels

Additional documents

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