An innovative coupling to tackle energy precariousness

Paris , France Construction and Development, Environment and Resource efficiency, Relations to stakeholders
Responsible Housing Award


The project concerns the rehabilitation of a building of 299 social housing units, built in 1962. ICF Habitat bought this apartment block in January 2013 in the framework of an acquisition-improvement and this operation will be its first major renovation. The program focuses on improving energy efficiency, restructuring the outdoor, enhancing the building’s comfort and aestheticism. By improving the thermal performance without increasing the rent, ICH Habitat La Sablière tackles its tenants’ energy precariousness. With an energy consumption reduction of over 70%, the operation promised ambitious results. This thermal efficiency increase coupled with the introduction of renewable energies will avoid the emission of 650 t CO2 eq/year. This is equivalent to an evolution of the European Energy Performance Certificate label from ‘E’ to ‘B’, and as far as emissions are concerned from ‘E’ to ‘D’. Moreover, the installer in charge of the implementation of the systems guarantees results, securing savings for tenants. The installer will be charged for any overshoot of the performance objectives, and
any additional savings will be shared with the tenants.


France’s emission reduction potentials are particularly high in the building sector. The housing stock uses more than 40% of the total energy in the country and is responsible for 20% of the national
greenhouse gas emissions. New constructions are subject to ambitious regulations but the main issue is the rehabilitation of existing buildings. Older buildings with high-energy consumption represent more than 90% of France’s housing stock.

Additionally, energy precariousness particularly develops in social housing. Disadvantaged households often must choose between payment defaults and comfort with 3.8 million households stating that they suffer from cold when at home. In this context, ICF Habitat La Sablière elaborated its Strategic Asset Plan in 2006 – 2007 and set out the main objective of a sustainable requalification for the obsolete housing stock. Almost 800 refurbishments are carried out each year, improving the overall housing quality and energy performance.

Issues tackled

In order to meet the present economic, social and environmental challenges, ICF Habitat’s policies focus on the following objectives:
▶ Increase rental offer, especially in zones where it is lacking;
▶ Develop its very social range in order to meet underprivileged people;
▶ Build eco-friendly buildings in order to limit environmental impact;
▶ Encourage the efforts to rehabilitate and propose quality housing;
▶ Develop alternative housing;
▶ Guarantee tranquillity for tenants;
▶ Face population aging and handicaps.
More precisely, the submitted project aims at keeping rental costs low and fighting energy precariousness.

Actors involved

  • ICH Habitat La Sablière

Why it works

✚ An innovative coupling to tackle energy precariousness
✚ Hybrid system of cogeneration and heat pumps for hot
water leading to significant energy savings
✚ Improving the building energy performance without increasing
the rent
✚ Additional savings shared with tenants and significant
use of renewable energies
✚ Upgrade from “E” to “B” energy performance level
✚ Open communication with tenants