07 February 2022


The ENERGIESPRONG contest featured at the BEPOSITIVE exhibition kept all its promises, with the presentation of innovative solutions that can boost the industrialization of building renovation.  Let’s do a quick round-up of these gems!

After the contest’s first season in 2020, devoted to the development of off-site solutions, which are an essential element in large-scale building renovation programmes, the second season focused on three markets facing major issues: educational buildings, houses, and apartment blocks. In each of these, three types of solution were explored: prefabricated, pre-insulated external walls, complete solution kits, and user-centric solutions for energy management. 
With 21 teams facing off, all with sponsorship from backers, the contest highlighted the enormous innovation potential of industrial companies, architects, engineering offices, and installation contractors—most of them SMBs, many of them French—for renovating better, cheaper, and with a smaller carbon footprint.

When innovation plays the hybrid card

One thing the prize-winning solutions had in common was the hybridization not only of materials but also low-tech with high-tech, enabling optimum restraint in terms of materials, prices, and environmental impact. 
Take for example the Toerana-Solener-Dubois-Lapierre team’s “window box” concept, ideal for heritage buildings that include HVAC and biosourced insulating materials. Or the “overcoat wall” from the Vestack-Weber-Pelegrin Architecte-Aldes-SoLab consortium, which is made from timber, coated with an insulating compound, and can house two-way ventilation as well as other features like lighting, presence detectors, or sound systems. This solution guarantees a very low environmental impact, and better still, rapid design thanks to digital measurement automated by BIM.

Hybridization is also on show in the house category, for example in the project developed by the Bim’Steel-TribuEnergie-Synerpod-PADW consortium, whereby the house is shrouded in a lightweight, self-supporting steel envelope coupled with biosourced insulation and delivered with an external energy module, ready-to-install and ready-to-run, to provide ventilation, heating, and hot water. To top things off, the components are wholly removable and recyclable to fit in with circular economy ideals.

In a more technological vein, the winning innovations for handing occupants control of their own energy consumption put the accent on simplicity of implementation and use, like the artificial intelligence-based Eco-Touch solution developed by Ogga. This system makes energy savings the norm during sleep and absence periods and is equally at home in newbuild and retrofit. Taking less than an hour to install, this wireless solution, which doesn’t need batteries or an Internet connection, can be interconnected building-wide and supply services to the building manager.

From in-vitro to in-vivo: a switch that has already come off!

The challenge now is to roll these solutions out on the market to take advantage of the fall-out from this contest, which will have helped get the innovations identified by project instigators as well as giving better access to financial backing for honing their development. Sebastien Delpont, Greenflex director and contest organizer, reminds us that his team’s objective is “to heighten visibility among industrial manufacturers and construction companies. The bigger the demand for these solutions, the less they will cost. We deploy this approach in many different segments of the building pool. That’s why we included an educational building category in this edition. It’s important to demonstrate that solutions can and are being developed for industrializing the renovation of these buildings.”
And there are already numerous examples of prizewinning firms from this contest who have moved on to actual implementation of their solutions in construction, like the biosourced cladding from Neolife, like Synerprod’s energy modules that have received aid in the scope of the French economic restart plan, or how about Techniwood and its Panobloc solution, deployed in many renovation projects including the very recent EnergieSprong-labelled operation by the Opac housing office in the Savoie department. And those are only a few!

You can find the full list of 2021 innovation contest prizewinners on Energiesprong.fr

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