NET ZERO ENERGY BUILDINGS IN FRANCE, FROM DESIGN
STUDIES TO ENERGY MONITORING.
A STATE OF THE ART REVIEW.
1 1 2 3 4 5
Aurélie Lenoir , François Garde , Eric Ottenwelter , Alain Bornarel , Jocelyn ? , Francis Allard
LPBS, Laboratory of Building Physics and Systems, University of Reunion Island, 117 Rue General Ailleret, 97430 Le
Tampon, La Reunion, France, Phone : + 262 262 96 29 70, E-mail : email@example.com
Imageen, Energy Management Design Office, 8 rue Henri Cornu, BP12005, 97801 Saint-Denis Cedex, La Reunion,
France, Phone : + 262 262 21 54 43
TRIBU, Research and Design Office in Buildings and Town Planning, 19 rue Frédérick-Lemaitre, 75020 Paris, France,
Phone : + 33 1 43 49 55 75
Leu ?, 139 rue François Isautier, 97410 Saint-Pierre, La Reunion, France, Phone : +262 262 25 14 55
LEPTIAB, Avenue Michel Crépeau, 17042 La Rochelle Cedex 1, France, Phone : +33 5 46 45 86 24
In 2020, the French energy policy plans that every new building will be positive energy. It is then essential to
develop new methods for the design of such buildings. In addition, energy monitoring should be studied on
existing positive or near zero energy buildings to ensure that they really respect this characteristic but also to
estimate the impact of certain improvements made on the building design to the energy consumption.
The paper presents the state-of-the-art regarding positive or near zero energy building projects in France.
This work is part of the research made by the IEA SHC Task 40 / ECBCS Annex 52 on net zero energy solar
buildings . The aim is to study net-zero and near-zero energy buildings in terms of design methods and
tools, innovative solution sets and energy monitoring.
This paper provides a list of existing and under construction zero energy buildings in France and proposes a
classification by climate. Indeed in mainland France, the climate is warm temperate, but France also have
overseas departments such as Reunion Island (in the Indian Ocean) where the climate is tropical. An analysis
of the innovative solution sets per building is then made. In the last part, methods for energy monitoring and
comparisons with simulations run during the design phase are given on several case studies.
1 Net-zero / positive energy buildings in France
Final energy (kWh/sq meter/year)
French thermal design
regulations (RT 2000)
French thermal design 40 55
regulations (RT 2005)
2012 30 55 ≥ 55
Positive energy buildings 22 40 64
Consumptions taken into account in the French thermal regulations (heating, ventilation, domestic hot water, cooling, lighting)
Others consumptions (office automation, elevator, car park...)
Renewable energy production
Figure 1 : Energy policy for new buildings in France 
Figure 1 gives an overview of the balance between consumption and production of final energy in buildings
in France from 2000 to 2020 (previsions). By 2020, every new building should be positive in terms of
energy. It means that it is vital to reduce drastically the energy consumption in buildings. Afterwards,
renewable energy on site should be added to have a positive ratio in terms of energy.
For the research made by the IEA SHC Task 40 / ECBCS Annex 52 and with the associates authors, a list of
several French net zero energy buildings has been established. About 20 buildings have been studied shared
into four typologies as shown on figure 2. Figure 3 gives a repartition of those case studies in terms of
climate. Mainland France is then divided into two parts (as in the French thermal design regulations): north
and south of France.
Figure 2: Classification of the case studies in terms of Figure 3: Classification per climate
2 Methodology of the study
2.1 Methods and tools used for the design
The aim of this part is to establish a method for the design of zero energy building for each climate.
For the tropical climate, the EnerPos building which is the first net zero energy building of the French
overseas department, located in Saint-Pierre (Reunion Island) has been part of a research program whose goal
was to join research laboratories and design practices to develop new methods for the conception of such
buildings . The methodology developed allows the connection between all actors in the building design
team such as architects, design office...
2.2 Experimental feedback / Energy monitoring
The design process is obviously a very important part for a net zero energy building, but the experimental
feedback is also essential. Indeed, we are just beginning designing zero energy building so it is important to
have a way of comparison with previous buildings.
Several buildings of the case studies are monitored to have experimental feedback and post-occupancy
evaluation. The paper will give a review of the methods used for energy monitoring and comparison with the
dynamic thermal simulations run during the design process.
 SHC Task 40 / ECBCS Annex 52 Net-Zero Energy Solar Buildings www.iea-shc.org/task40/
 The Green-Office Concept http://www.green-office.fr/UK/index.html
 Garde F., Bastide A., Wurtz E., Thellier F., Achard G., Sobre D., Ottenwelter E., Bornarel A., EnerPos :
A French research program for developing new methods for the design of zero energy buildings in hot
climates, CESB Pragues, 2007