For most sustainability-minded architects, a net zero energy building is the holy grail. But Elithis Tower, located in Dijon, France, has surpassed the net zero energy ideal to become the first energy positive office building - meaning it creates more power than it uses. The building, which was designed by Arte Charpentier Architects, also produces six times fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional office structures.
The tower, which was originally a theoretical challenge initiated by Thierry Bievre, General Director of Elithis Engineering, is made of wood and recycled insulation. Elithis Tower also houses 330 rooftop solar panels and a solar shield to remove excess heat while allowing natural light to filter in. At the same time, emissions from the office are recovered and reused within the Tower.
Elithis Engineering doesn’t want its energy efficiency feat to go unnoticed by workers in the building, so the company designed a public sign that shows off daily energy consumption, courtesy of 1,600 energy and emissions-analyzing sensors. Perhaps best of all, the 54,000 square foot, 10 story building was relatively cheap to construct, costing just $10 million. With a price comparable to that of a traditionally-built structure, Elithis Tower is leading the way in affordable green building.