"Low energy" refurbishing and highly educational too

What's the best way to convince the inhabitants of a low income neighborhood that ecological heating alternatives can also be healthier and more economical? By setting an example. And this is precisely what the nonprofit Énergies Durables en Ile de-France is poised to do.

Environment and Biodiversity

19th District of Paris, France

Matthieu Bugel

20 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2009/12/01

Project leader

Énergies Durables en Ile-de-France (EDIF)

"Since I'm involved in the "sustainable building" research project at CREED (Centre de recherche sur la propreté et l'énergie de Veolia Environnement), I was naturally interested in the EDIF project. I believe that the inhabitants of a neighborhood or a city often lack information and advice about renovating their homes. So I feel very strongly about the value of helping this association to gain greater visibility, a demonstration area where people can see the concrete implementation of efficient energy solutions."

Matthieu Bugel

Badly insulated, unhealthy, superdamp homes: the organizations that closely examine the "badly housed" situation in France believe that 3 to 5 million families live in very unhealthy conditions. Among the many causes, the quality of the heating system and the corollary issue of the price of energy obviously play a crucial role.

In the 19th district of Paris, and specifically in the low income "Flandres" neighborhood, which draws benefits from the city, the nonprofit Énergies Durables en Ile-de-France (EDIF) wants to promote renewable energies and energy efficiency. It has accordingly approached a broad public, such as building professionals, social backers, condominiums, associations, etc., seeking to promote programs to improve the energy performance of homes (especially private), show the households how to control their energy and water consumption, and rescue the most economically vulnerable families from dramatic energy situations.

A showcase apartment to promote sober and healthy homes

The nonprofit association, currently located in the heart of a popular neighborhood, plans to gain visibility by changing premises. Over and above the change of address that will get it a better location (in Aubervilliers as it so happens), this move will mainly give it the means to pursue its awareness raising projects on the appropriate scale.

EDIF will thus refurbish its future premises 100% ecologically to encourage the population of the neighborhood - and building professionals - to promote energy sobriety. Insulation produced by recycling used clothing provided by the Emmaüs outreach movement, materials and coverings with better health and energy performance ... energy consumption will be 60% lower than the thermal recommendations set by the current regulations on new construction (RT 2005 of the Climate Plan). For these projects, EDIF will enlist the services of agencies in the outreach economy sector, in order to demonstrate that ecology can be both socially oriented and inexpensive.

Aware of the powerfully educational nature of this refurbishing project, the Veolia Foundation has decided to help EDIF to carry out its plans. Apart from the offices, which will accommodate the present team of five employees, EDIF's future headquarters will include a showcase apartment and a showroom. The aim is to familiarize the public with all the alternatives available today, the new comfort that they procure, and the resulting energy and economic gains.