User’s feedback on low consumption housing.

Lauréna CAZEAUX (Abor&sens ; éco-BET)
Marine MORAIN (Abor&sens ; éco-BET)
Gilles DESEVEDAVY (Abor&sens ; éco-BET)

Based on the knowledge of projects drawn and built by the architectural office and scientific environment, we developed a field feedback process linked with our architect and engineer practice backward instrumentation measures. We base our approach on observation in situ the daily life in buildings which form and materials come from designers (not from users).
Meeting inhabitants in their home is the starting point of our work carried out low consumption social housing. For this research, the method used consist in both dynamic thermal simulation of the building and interviews. Making relationship between those disciplines, usually distinct led us to conclude that behavior hypothesis employed to design is far from reality, and physicals responses are far from predictions.
Non thermal stresses are decisive for operating windows in summer and generally to deal with summer comfort. Those stresses are not taken into account in thermal simulations.
When half the people we met in a low consumption social housing have bought an extra climate control device, they spend as much energy during summer as they saved during winter. Bioclimatic design seems to be useless in this case.
Architects need to take charge of technique and use it with efficiency instead of performance in order to improve practice and result. Soft-Tech architecture concept revisits this question.
Without identifying a unique answer, the purpose is to move toward non-traumatic technique for users, that is to say a building without instructions where inhabitant can deal easily with building complexity. The goal is to avoid transforming building occupant in an technical expert and adapt building to life, especially in housing which is the main place of privacy.

KEY WORDS: model, thermal comfort, survey, soft-tech, housing.

Energy leader and innovation process in co-ownership.

Stéphane CHEVRIER (MANA ; Rennes 2 University /CIAPHS ; ENSAB ; IAUR)

The aim of this paper is to give an overview of the innovation process for co-ownership associations in builings or condominiums.
Our survey has focused on two condominiums built in the 60′s and 70′s located in Rennes. The study used ethnographic survey techniques and framework analysis of the ‘ Actor Network Theory ‘ . The co-ownership associations looked at the possibility of selling the building rights to raise the height of their buildings in order to finance the upgrading of the property and other ambitious projects of energy improvements. This study is part of a survey conducted by the ‘ Agence Nationale de l’Habitat ‘ and carried out as part of a research programme ‘ Energy Improvement in Apartment Blocks or Condominiums ‘ run by the PUCA ( Plan Urbanisme Construction Architecture ) .
Firstly our aim is to analyse the role of the ‘energy leaders’ in a process of profit sharing , unlike the towns of Lyon or Grenoble marked by the under representation of the local communities.
Secondly , our aim is to observe the creation of the intermediate and boundary objects , study their composition and follow their trajectories ( slide shows, specifications, newsletters, plans, scale models , etc ) which contribute to the dialogue between the social groups and the ‘ communities of practice ‘ leading to a socio-technical entity to carry the project forward.
The quality and well-timed introduction of these objects to the innovation process contribute to the building of confidence and lead to the success of such a project. But what role do the energy leaders play in the production of these objects and in the management of innovation ? Which partners should they bring together ?
Should the condominium itself , seen as a technical and legal reality, be considered as a boundary object joining different worlds and communities of practice – ( energy , construction, town planning, real estate ) . Can the condominium as a sociological reality be considered as a community of practice ? Or is it the dynamic building process of the project itself , with its hardships and controversies throughout the production of these objects that gradually contribute to the emergence of a community ? In this way the success of the project would be indissociable of a community that would allow the homeowners association to exist beyond its legal framework.

Key words: co-ownership, innovation, renovation, energy leader, boundary object.

Ecofriendly housing and binding communication: what kind of alliance is possible ?

Emmanuel DELAITE (University of Franche-Comté ; University of Aix-Marseille/IRSIC)

Our research aims to demonstrate that sustainable housing is an experiments and innovations laboratory in favour of sustainable development.
In this sense, it is accelerating solutions and it is serving as a force for positive change. In fact sustainable housing is a privileged space where challenges of the energy transition can materialize. Sustainable housing is questionning: how do we want to live in our responsible housing and around it? This private space is not studied, thought, and developed enough to optimize living conditions of residents. It should bring pro-environmental answers that involve people directly. Regular housing is often built by forgetting relationship with time and outside space in which it operates. Interdependencies between responsible housing and ecological urban environment are very clearly defined in this paper to develop new formulas of systemic and participatory ecological actions.

KEY WORDS: ecofriendly housing, binding communication, experiments and innovations laboratory, ecological urban environment, junction.

Successful energy rehabilitation: key factors for a good perception of its occupants.


The RCP global design agency, as part of its design activity, accompanies the anthropocentric approach, serving engineers in charge of the definition of energy rehabilitation projects.
It is within this context that the agency is a partner in the TIPEE project together with the University of La Rochelle. In this collaborative project, the agency has studied the user perception by exploring a building renovated in 2007, and which is an energy success story, and very well accepted and perceived by its occupants, through efficient technical solutions and a clever change management.
RCP studied the user’s integration during the design process and the feedback after 6 years of use. The results of this study extract the key factors for a good perception of a successful energy rehabilitation and the recommendations to facilitate « the proper use of renovated buildings » by its occupants.

KEY WORDS: perception, energy rehabilitation, occupant, recommendations, use.

Exploratory Study of IMAGINARY AND USES in housing disconnected from power grids.

Xavier GAUVIN (Bouygues/Ideas Lab)

As part of his research, Bouygues Construction is working on the idea of ‘autonomous buildings’, that is to say disconnected construction from power grids and water,
The name of the ABC project : « Autonomous Buildding for Citizen ».
More concretely, a partnership between the City of Grenoble and Bouygues Construction was signed January 22, 2014 for the « Development of a demonstrator in Grenoble » that will concern a building of 70 rental units.
Many returns of experiences, including those of Zac de Bonne (eco-neighborhood of Grenoble), have demonstrated the important part of the behavior of the inhabitants in the results in terms of environmental, energy and economic performance. So, it is essential to study with the possible future residents, the consequences in terms of uses in everyday life, about the different technical or economic choices.
Already, studies are conducted to measure the acceptability of certain technologies to better design solutions to future occupants and with whom they can interact.
In parallel with this work, it is also necessary to define the operating rules adapted to this context and acceptable for the future community of inhabitants (rules, life charter resident) and economic conditions (willing to pay, contract …).
During 2013, around Grenoble, an experiment simulates 10 homes disconnected from power grid. Energy resource is limited to a solar photovoltaic production and storage battery which requires for people to adjust the power consumption.
Main goals :
- Explorer management of electricity consumption in collective housing in limited resource Imaginary and Practices
- Characterize innovative device :
Energy Resources Management Interface
Set of necessary devices and services
- Acceptability and attractiveness.

KEY WORDS: User Centered Innovation, housing, autonomous building, practices, energy consumption, acceptability, living-lab.

« I am a bit of a handyman! »: when homeowners building cultures face political demands in rammed earth houses retrofitting.

Léa GENIS (Superior National School of Architecture of Grenoble /CRAterre-ENSAG/AE& CC)

Anthropology of rural spaces frequently deals with vernacular house considering the heritage construction processes induced by retrofitting. Emerging approaches based on sociology of energy have however seldom be used. In such a context, the paper aims at demonstrating how heritage and home energy retrofit requirements and homeowners technical practices articulate towards the stakes of ancient houses.
The research is based on a socio-anthropological field work on rammed earth houses retrofitting. It was implemented in Nord Isère region with the contribution of advisory structures and local authorities. After the analysis of homeowners-guided visits of homes under work or already retrofitted, the paper describes the “bricolage” implemented by the inhabitants in the retrofitting process. When applied to ancient houses, they appear to be involved in a sociotechnical project based not only on energy but on the houses and households features, temporality, livability or aesthetics. They seem to lead to the constitution of distinctive “homeowner’s knowledge”. Thus, the analysis expands to include adjustment in advisors and craftsmen professional practices toward existing or implied norms, considering those norms fit hardly with the variety of ancient houses materials and structures. Through these adjustments, professionals can operate alternatively as mediators, specialists, advisors or trainers in their interactions with the inhabitants.
Research results finally show the emergence of new means of cooperation between inhabitants and professionals. It questions the knowledge dynamics involved in the development of energetic innovations linked to vernacular houses retrofitting.

KEY WORDS: local knowledge, energy retrofitting, vernacular houses, rammed earth, do-it-yourself.

The construction of the expertise in energy by the “self-refurbishers” in rural areas.

Ignacio REQUENA-RUIZ (ENSA/CERMA/Architectural and urban environments)

Céline DROZD (ENSA/CERMA/ Architectural and urban environments)
Kévin MAHE (ENSA/CERMA/Architectural and urban environments)
Daniel SIRET (ENSA/CERMA/Architectural and urban environments)

As a result of the changing criteria of comfort and the new social projections on the own house’s energy efficiency, the field of building practices directly managed by inhabitants appears to be in continuous growth. In comparison with the dwellings construction and the housing energy refurbishment, which are subjects of many studies and proposals, these practices remain little studied.
Nowadays, our team conducts a research focused on housing self-refurbishment, an inhabitant practice that gathers together activities arising from the pragmatic sphere of housing (from maintenance to self-building) and the personal dimension of the own home construction (from DIY to interior design). In particular, we seek to understand the role of energy among all the criteria that build the expertise of “self-refurbishers”.
This communication will present the results of a research supported on the analyses of the “self-refurbishers” strategies to deal with the energy issues in the construction of the own home. A total of 11 self-refurbishment projects in different states are studied. The research reveals how the inhabitants create a personal network, which can be composed of both amateur and professional actors, in order to exchange knowledge and skills.
The research method is based on the study of the inhabitant’s story about the different phases of the expertise construction and the advancement of their renewal works. The survey is conducted by semi-directive interviews where the inhabitants’ speech is triggered in three phases: the narration of their memories of works, the explained visit of the house and the detailed story arising from personal documentation (photos, invoices, sketches, drawings, etc.). The story, moreover, enhances different stages dealt by inhabitants: the project conception as well as early enquiries and choices, the techniques learning and the issues of the mise-en-œuvre, the house’s systems management, and the house maintenance or systems renewal.

KEY WORDS: self-refurbishment; expertise in energy; inhabitants’ practices; energy management.

Optimisation des Usages Energétiques et Sociaux d’un îlot Tertiaire à l’horizon 2020.

Thomas ROILLET (National School of Arts and Crafts in Lille/L2EP)
Céline DROZD (ENSA/CERMA/Architectural and urban environments)
Hervé BARRY (Catholic University of Lille/CRESGE)

The current project looks at the management of the thermal energy from the Pasteur Campus (a 50,000 m2 block of offices and laboratories for 1,000 people) by integrating cogeneration or tri-generation machines combined with storing heat and cold. The aim is to develop a multi-source power plant supervisor based on predictive control techniques, with the original feature of integrating usage parameters (known from service meetings and a survey using a questionnaire) into the management of these innovative devices. Energy issues currently concern only the organisation managers to whom the bills are sent based on a single allocation formula (area, manpower, etc.). No information or awareness-raising approach is aimed at any individual energy “consumers”. The aim of the research action is therefore to extend the targets of the various interlocutors on the campus (cf. altering usage logic) so that they match those of the supervision agents, contributing to better results (securing production, reducing costs in the broad sense, etc.).

KEY WORDS: energy, economy, usage, greenhouse gas impact, tertiary planning unit .

Users expertise as a core concept in energy transition processes.


Rental housing , property housing, business premises and offices are spaces with different ways of appropriation, but acquired or most often used practices for energy consumption in some of them may have an impact on what will be developed in others. Nevertheless, the behavior of users is not only influenced by the premises in which they live or work, it cannot be only influenced either by technical aspects, general facilities to be used or architectural forms. They must as well be matched by behaviors that often need to be shaken, but that cannot be induced by force, so as to develop into more “virtue” in respect of challenges for the conservation of resources. We should not forget either the diversity of the ways of living, of cultural behaviors and of the social and economical characteristics of individuals.
Since the end of the 1990s, great progress, technical and architectural, has been made to foster, in new buildings and in renovation, a more effective reduction of energy consumption and expenditures. And indeed, the main “ left aside” in the forced dynamics of what can be called an necessary energetic revolution is precisely the user.
Yes, the user is left aside as actor and designer of these living spaces and too often considered as a target for new products which, since more efficient and less polluting , should be naturally adopted, regardless of social, economical and cultural diversity.
As for living in new HQE or low consumption buildings, it seems that their characteristics for users do not always match expectations.
So what about the relevance of designs giving a priority to the technique? There is a necessity here to ask the user about his practice, and farther to include him in the very design of premises he is or will be using, not as a simple consumer, but as an expert.
The concept of users expertise expresses the fact that users, present or future, of a building have a core position in the process of elaboration and follow up of the project, as well as the client and the prime contractor who executes the work. And we should keep in mind here that the role of the client or developer can be the same as users expertise.
So what is proposed here is a change or culture in the very process of building, a necessary cultural change for the development of ways of living together with buildings.
The introduction of users expertise does not target only the appropriation of innovations. It is first of all a new way of designing and building buildings which agrees to debate the technique and accompany the necessary knowledge changes for the residents and for all the actors and partners of the project.
We shall deal with this problem through examples of association of these three main actors in the process of designing of buildings: installation of the head quarters of the Geat Site Sainte Victoire, in the department Bouches du Rhône, and the Mascobado project in Montpellier in which two groups of citizens, sharing such values as solidarity, friendliness and respect of the environment, develop together a project of participatory housing.

KEY WORDS: users expertise, culture of energy, collaborative approach

The pollution caused by the energy transition: the case of thermal insulation.

Dominique THEILE (chercheur conseil indépendant)

Following the call of the Abbé Pierre in 1954, France experienced almost two decades of unprecedented efforts to build. Build and design concepts of this era are now so discredited that some buildings are demolished. Similarly, replacement of windows, which is the most successful cross-injunctions ADEME, the Treasury, and marketing strategies of manufacturers and installers of windows, generates perverse effects like condensations causing damage to the frame, discomfort (hydrothermal, visual, olfactory …) and impacts on health (allergies, asthma …) whose magnitude remains to be established..
The purpose of this film is to anticipate risks of energy transition, and therefore the reviews of tomorrow on the choices made today. The assumption is that the thermal insulation generate particulate pollution during their manufacture, their lives in the building envelope, their end of life, their implementation in waste and recycling. This particle release is not treated because it is furtive. Yet the strengthening of regulatory requirements for the construction and renovation of buildings results in not only a significant thickening layers of thermal insulation but also by a change in technical culture: substitution of inside thermal insulation by outside thermal insulation. The probability of a significant worsening of this furtive pollution seem high.
To test this hypothesis we must first verify the existence of this pollution, before turning to its potential impacts and ways to prevent pollution. The film thus presents the first results of this audit: photographic evidence of the release of particles about ten yards. Although all in Ile de France, these sites can be seen as reflecting not the exception but the rule, confirmed by a detour through Germany..
In doing so, this film explores a form of difference between the practices of sites and practices of factories. Is it necessary to reduce these discrepancies? Beyond the question of quantification of impacts, there is the issue of dynamic definitions of priorities in change orders.

KEY WORDS: organization of work, thermal insulation, environment, health, priorities in change.