One year after being awarded the BEPOS-Effinergie® label, Agua, the GA Group’s headquarters in Toulouse, is keeping its promises.
A year after receiving the label, the office building posts an actual energy consumption of 20.28 kWh per sq m per year for comfort-related items (heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and domestic hot water) — 90% less than the thermal regulations (RT2012). This performance is achieved thanks to bioclimatic architectural design, the installation of highly efficient equipment, and monitoring and management of energy consumption.
To achieve positive energy, consumption is compensated for by integrating photovoltaic panels into the roofing and making use of geothermal energy for heating and cooling the offices. There are 274 modules set up on the roof of Agua. Their production (82 MWh a year) covers the electricity consumption of all the comfort-related items as well as 41% of the building’s electricity consumption for all uses, irrespective of type. The unused energy surplus is reinjected into the Smart Grid that has been set up nearby for the buildings of the Parc d’activités de la Plaine industrial estate, which consume on average 150 kWh per sq m a year.
The forerunner of a new generation of smart buildings, Agua is monitored and configured in real time by Galaxy Pilot®, the software developed by the GA Group in 2006. Connected to thousands of sensors arranged throughout the building, Galaxy Pilot® processes close to 16,000 pieces of information per second. Equipped with a module of artificial intelligence, the software does more than just execute – it is smart. It learns from employees’ behavior, integrates their habits and takes weather forecasts into account.
In addition, employees are provided with a mobile application which allows them to manage the parameters of their comfort right from their smartphones by adjusting the heating and lighting while controlling the quality of the indoor air. By moving into an exemplary, innovative office building, the GA Group has reduced its actual energy consumption by more than half and lowered its energy bill to a third of its previous amount, compared to its former headquarters, which dated only from 2004.
Crédit header : Jean Darreux