Digital tools for energy efficiency

  • 2019-08-26 08:00:00
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  • Main leader : Schneider Electric
  • Type of initiative : Individual initiative (company, etc.)
  • France
  • 37 Quai Paul Louis Merlin, 38000 Grenoble
  • Start date : février 2017

Wishing to bring teams together and improve cooperation, Schneider Electric launched a real estate project for two buildings with ambitious energy performance objectives. The first, called Technopole, has been occupied since early 2017.

A workplace designed as a living lab

Technopole was designed to optimize space while improving the use and satisfaction of the 600 people who work on the premises. It is also a “living lab” where Schneider Electric's know-how has been applied in the areas of innovation, collaboration, energy efficiency, environment and health. It mainly hosts teams of researchers and engineers who draw data from their workplaces to optimize the design, construction and operation of the buildings. 

Qualitative benefits

Two objectives guided the design of Technopole: to create a building that is highly efficient in terms of energy and to integrate uses, i.e. the way occupants live in the premises. This approach combines comfort and savings.

Quantitative benefits

Technopole is aiming at a consumption target of 45 kWh/m2 /year for all uses taken together, thanks to the technologies used.

Stages of the initiative

The people involved in the construction worked closely together to meet the Technopole's specifications and apply the LEED* label criteria . All the trades used a common tool: BIM. This digital model of the building or "digital twin" facilitates cooperation by the various people involved. It is also a tool for Schneider Electric’s R & D teams. In addition, the design choices were subjected to an energy simulation tool, highlighting their effects on the building’s efficiency. * Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, an accreditation created by the Green Building Council in the United States

In France, the RT2012 regulation sets requirements for heating, air conditioning, domestic hot water production, lighting and auxiliaries (ventilation, etc.) but these items are no longer the biggest consumers of energy because of the progress made in this area. It is now necessary to give thinking to uses and other items such as printers, electrical outlets, PCs, etc.[1]

According to this philosophy, the Technopole building is controlled by usage. Energy is managed according to how the premises are occupied, these becoming a source of savings when they are empty. This happens regularly because mobility on site is high, employees’ time being divided between their offices and laboratories.

[1] Lessons learned from the European programme Homes, 2008-2013

Areas of activity

  • Construction
  • Energy


  • Renewable energies
  • Energy efficiency

Technical resources

Digital technology undeniably contributes to the building's energy performance through several functions:

  • The design software used by building professionals
  • The manufacture of data from sensors for the technical management of the building
  • Information tools for stakeholders who operate the building: collection of data on comfort, energy, etc. in order to draw up dashboards
  • The creation of data to fuel engineers' research.

Innovations in site design go hand in hand with new ways of controlling it. Room control is used to manage the building on a room-by-room basis, and not by item (light, heating, etc.).

Devices, tools or methodologies

Designing buildings differently

Understanding usage is part of Schneider Electric's business in order to provide its customers with appropriate offers. The company has developed a method to include usage into the specifications. This method is used to define the function of each room and identify the people who can decide on a change of use and access the room settings.

A global approach

In addition, Schneider Electric is committed to a more global approach to sustainable development. The Technopole site is ISO 50001 (energy management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management) certified. Actions are being implemented around water and paper consumption, procurement for the company restaurant and the recovery of waste.

These initiatives are backed by communication actions with users, such as displaying energy consumption in the company, annual publication of a booklet on sustainable development actions and awareness raising.

Determination to recycle materials by fine sorting of waste and giving things away: > Office waste > Laboratory waste > Pallets and other materials > D3E and batteries > Company restaurant bio-waste, coffee grounds and frying oils

The second building of the real estate project to which the Technopole belongs, called IntenCity, will be delivered in late 2019. It is targeting a consumption of 37 kWh/m2/year and will be energy-positive through the different sources of energy production: photovoltaic, geothermal and wind power.

It has been designed to take usage even more finely into account, for example by linking office automation tools (such as for booking meeting rooms) and building management.

 Living lab
 Sustainable procurement

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