The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.

Abalone: a zero energy head office building

Highlighted Case May 2010
Share this Post:

The head office of the company Abalone (human resources management) is really close to the zero energy level and should in the future have an over energetic production of 18.3 kWh/m²a. The construction works started in 2006. The building is located near Nantes (France). The design optimizes the thermal inertia (double coated elevation, thermal losses reduction…) and integrates a large panel of renewable energy solutions (wind turbines, solar power and hydrogen). In the future the electricity produced on site should allow the production of hydrogen. Stored, this hydrogen could be used in a fuel cell to supply heat and electrical power.

2 wind turbines models :

- 3 wind turbine free standing (height 15 m – power 10 kW (each))  for a total yearly production of 45 MW/a)

- 3 roof top wind turbines (height 3 m) total yearly production : 15 MWh/a

Photovoltaic panels : 80 m² – yearly production 2 MWh/a

Thermal solar power used directly in the building for heating and domestic water.

Air cooling : earth-to-air heat exchanger

Ventilation : heat recovery system

Water rain is recovered and re used in for washroom facilities.

Lessons learnt

This building has been created to be used as an example and replicated. No patent has been filed. The structure has been designed to be adaptative and able to integrate new storage technique in the future. On a long term basis the building should no longer be connected to the national electric network.

Award labels


Available link languages


Dear all,

I think it is worth saying that a coupling exist between the eigen values of the building and the dynamic sollicitation induced by the roof top wind turbines. This building is a good exemple of what can happen without a full study on the integration of roof top wind turbine. As far as I know, the roof top wind turbines are stopped because of the mechanical coupling between the building (the roof) eigen values and the wind turbine.

Besides, we are still waiting for the monitoring of produced energy


Xavier Faure