The Catella-Elithis fund acquires the Elithis tower in Le Havre for 19 million euros, the first of its projects to achieve carbon neutrality over its entire life cycle.
The Catella-Elithis fund is going even further in the fight against global warming with its latest acquisition: the Elithis positive-energy tower project in Le Havre. The carbon-neutral building during operation will limit its greenhouse gas emissions in the design and construction phases to approach carbon neutrality throughout all its life cycles (design, construction, operation, conversion, recycling and transformation).
The Catella-Elithis Positive Energy Fund (CEEPF), the first real estate investment vehicle in the world to focus exclusively on residential programs producing more energy from renewable sources than is consumed by buildings and tenants, has just acquired a 76-apartment program in Le Havre for 19 million euros. It will be developed by its partner Elithis Groupe, the French sustainable engineering company.
The residential tower, built at standard construction cost, will be completed in 2025. This will be the fund’s first development under France’s toughest new environmental regulation, RE2020, introduced in January 2022. The new building code strengthens regulations to incorporate dynamic lifecycle criteria for embodied carbon allowed in new construction projects, and sets limits on operating energy consumption. It includes the extraction of raw materials, the transformation of materials, their transport to the delivery of the finished structure, their replacement and lifespan until recycling.
Buildings account for 44% of the energy consumed in France, far ahead of transport, at 31.3% (source: Ministry of Energy Transition). Every year, the building sector emits over 123 million tonnes of C02, making it one of the key areas in the fight against global warming and the energy transition.
The Elithis Le Havre tower project includes on-site renewable energy production from photovoltaic panels on roofs and facades. This will considerably reduce or even completely eliminate tenants’ energy bills, and further increase their purchasing power by offering rents that are 5% to 10% lower on average than those of comparable residential buildings in the area. Xavier Jongen, Managing Director of CRIM, commented: “The Elithis positive-energy towers already set the benchmark for low-carbon development, 30 years ahead of current European regulations. With the Le Havre project, we are taking a new step forward by limiting greenhouse gas emissions throughout the entire life cycle of our buildings.
CEEPF invests as a “dark green” impact fund – the highest level, according to article 9 of the European Union’s Sustainable Financial Reporting Regulation (SFDR) – to date in two Elithis towers in Mulhouse and Le Havre.
Further acquisitions are planned in Brest, Nancy and Bordeaux, and 25 projects are already under development across France. In February, the fund attracted almost €100 million in new capital commitments from several European institutional investors.
The Elithis tower project in Le Havre is located in the “Eure” district, in the ZAC Dumont Durville, in the immediate vicinity of the city’s quays. It will have its rightful place in the new eco-neighborhood. In fact, the former industrial port area is currently undergoing a transformation into an urban district, with plans for residential development and facilities near the University of Le Havre, as well as a shopping and exhibition center. The site is 20 minutes on foot and 10 minutes by public transport from the main railway station. It will soon benefit from a new service with the imminent arrival of the tramway.
The residential development comprises two buildings: a 15-storey main tower and a 4-storey annex. It will offer a range of housing units from T2 to T4. Office space will be located on the first floor of the main building. The residences will benefit from :
– two shared common areas for tenants: the first, called the “social heart” on the 15th floor, and the second, called the “hanging garden” on the roof, offering a 350 m² wooded area between the two towers and a 360° view,
– a bicycle garage (80 bikes)
– 48 parking spaces within the tower and 31 nearby.
The entrance halls of the residences will be accessible from a porch and then from a patio on Rue des Chargeurs Réunis, offering a warm, green space. It will be reserved exclusively for tenants.
The building will feature a bioclimatic design offering on-site renewable energy production thanks to photovoltaic panels located on the roof and facades, and will benefit from district heating produced at 80% by renewable energies. Electricity will be sold to the national grid, and net revenues (after management costs) redistributed to tenants thanks to lower service costs. A collective self-consumption energy network enabling users to share electricity locally is also under study.
The tower will feature high-quality interior finishes and exceptional views thanks to its bay windows, which promote natural lighting and ventilation. Finally, an exclusive energy coaching application will help tenants optimize their overall energy consumption. With its personalized advice on energy consumption, it will optimize control of the home’s energy appliances, generating significant savings for tenants while reducing their carbon emissions. The building will achieve a superior “A” EPC efficiency performance rating.
On June 2 at 10:40 a.m., Edouard Philippe, former Prime Minister and Mayor of Le Havre, will visit the Elithis and Catella Rim teams, and architect Thomas Coldefy, as part of a tour of the ZAC construction sites. Thierry Bièvre, Chairman and CEO of Elithis Groupe, concludes: “We conceived this innovative project as a signal, an emblematic lookout for the city of Le Havre, where water, air and light are the natural resources of a positive horizon. This is the ambition of Elithis, which is turning away from fossil fuels by promoting the emergence of renewable energies, while increasing the purchasing power of households.”
Photo credit Agence Coldefy