ABC demonstrator is a a building that demonstrates that energy sustainability is possible for all households.
The ABC demonstration building, built by Linkcity and Bouygues Construction, was born in 2011. It is prototype building that would be autonomous in terms of energy and resource consumption. It aims to achieve 70% annual energy autonomy (collective self-consumption with storage system from the photovoltaic farm on the roofs), a 2/3 reduction in water consumption from the city network and a 40% reduction in the volume of household waste. To achieve these objectives, the building produces and stores the energy and water needed by its inhabitants. In addition to the photovoltaic panels, grey water is recycled and reused for toilets, common areas and the vegetable garden. Rainwater is collected, purified and used for housing. Delivered in September 2020 after 2 years of work, the building has 42 intermediate rental units and 20 social rental units. ABC building is based on a series of innovative technologies integrated into its design (cork insulation, low-carbon concrete, etc.) and equipments (battery radiators, showers connected to recycling, consumption monitoring application, A+++ household appliances, etc.). Autonomy of the ABC building is above all achieved through the approach of user assistance, well beyond the technical aspects. It is a question of facilitating the emergence of a community of inhabitants, to generate knowledge share and emulation between peers. The Grenoble Habitat teams will monitor and analyse the building and the uses of its inhabitants for 5 years.

Resources needed

Construction cost : 13 M€ for 5000 m2 funded by Grenoble Habitat with subsidies form city of Grenoble, Grenoble Alpes Métropole, State and Region AURA.
Solar system is about 250 k€.
Animation cost of the community of inhabitants is 64 k€ for the year before delivery and the 3 first years after.

Evidence of success

62 dwellings, 20 of which are social, with a high level of comfort (through-viewing, with balconies and pre-equipped)
Energy self-sufficiency 70%, thanks to 213 kWp photovoltaic power plant of which 44 kWp dedicated to collective self-consumption on the roof of the building and a storage system of 365kWh.
Water self-sufficiency 55%,
40% waste reduction,
common areas: shared room, educational showroom, vegetable gardens
Certification Well lodgements - gold
Label E+/C- : E4C2

Difficulties encountered

Perpetuation of the local citizen approach in long term and during COVID crisis - To achieve the autonomy of the inhabitants for the animation of their community
Adaptation with a specific housing allocation process for households to ensure the appropriation of their housing

Potential for learning or transfer

Duplicate this approach to other buildings under design.

This project was conceived as a demonstrator, it is intended to inspire other projects, in France and elsewhere, to involve the inhabitants of buildings, whatever their social background, in the energy transition.
It demonstrates that access to renewable energy and the best available energy efficiency technologies is possible for vulnerable households. This is why this project is likely to be transferred to other parts of Europe.

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Main institution
Grenoble Habitat
Rhône-Alpes, France
Start Date
November 2011
End Date


noemie zambeaux Please login to contact the author.