Catella Elithis fund acquires green resi project in France

The Catella Elithis Energy Positive Fund (CEEPF) , the world’s first real estate investment vehicle to focus exclusively on residential developments which produce more energy from renewable sources than used by the buildings and tenants, has just acquired a 64 apartment project in Mulhouse, in north-eastern France.

What the Mulhouse residential tower will look like

The project will developed by its partner Elithis Groupe, the French sustainable engineering company.

“The development pipeline for our Elithis Fund is gaining momentum in the French market with this investment in Mulhouse,” said Xavier Jongen, managing director, Catella Residential Investment Management. “The European energy crisis has highlighted the affordability of these highly sustainable energy-positive buildings relative to standard residential properties.”

Tenants either pay very low bills or actually receive money back in the form of an annual bonus according to how effectively they manage their own energy consumption through a proprietary SmartApp, which increases household purchasing power, he said.

The Elithis Tower project in Mulhouse will be realised at standard market construction costs and represents a €14 million investment by the fund’s manager, Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management. The new development will be located close to the affluent Rebberg residential area of Mulhouse, near to the main railway station and 10 minutes’ walking distance from the historic city centre and Fonderie university area.

The tower will have a bioclimatic design which offers on-site renewable energy production through photovoltaic panels on the roof and facades and also biomass heating, automated window blinds to control temperatures and an ‘energy coach app’ to help tenants manage the energy consumption efficiency of their homes. 

The development will comprise a diverse mix of homes including two- and three-bedroom units. Residential units will be equipped with a double floor system to improve thermal and acoustic comfort. Spacious living rooms with curtain walls offer expansive views and a feeling of space. Sun shading will be via automated electric or adjustable blinds.

“In Mulhouse, Elithis is realising a 16-storey tower on barely a 250 square-metre site, which is five times smaller than the typical area required by similar scale residential developments in urban settings,” said Thierry Bievre, président, Elithis Groupe. “Our engineering designs are setting the global sustainability and societal standard for residential construction and refurbishment.”

Increasing barriers to developing on greenfield sites in France and other European countries are forcing groups to target brownfield locations and to minimise the area footprint of new developments as efficiently as possible.

CEEPF invests as a ‘dark green’ Article 9 impact fund, under the EU’s Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), in the low-carbon energy-efficient Elithis Towers, which produce energy from solar panels on the roofs and facades. 

KLP, Norway’s municipal and public health sector occupational pension company, and a group of Institutional investors, have committed close to €100 million in the first closing of the Fund earlier this month.