The Elithis Tower in Dijon, France, consumes just 20 kWh/m2 and was designed to cost no more than a conventional office buildings. The February issue of Ecolibirum, the magazine of AIRAH (Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating) reported on this building.
It is a 10 storey building of around 5,000 m2, with solar panels covering the rooftop. A “light shield” allows light but not radiant energy into the building. Low environmental impact materials have been used in its construction.
This is an extraordinary achievement, and is an example of human ingenuity rising to the climate change challenge. Most office buildings of that size would consume over 200 kWh/m2, and a very efficient building around 60 kWh/m2.
The Elithis Tower is the first building that I am aware of that beats the 30 kWh/m2 we achieved in the CarbonetiX office in 2008. In 2009 our emissions crept up to 33 kWh/m2, probably due to the introduction of additional computer monitors and staff countering the savings from skylights we installed at the end of 2008.
The Elithis Tower sets a great standard which I hope inspires further great engineering and design to make low or no energy use buildings the norm rather than the exception.