Energy-positive resi towers show one way to net zero

Catella Residential Investment Management ‘s partnership with French building engineering and consulting group Elithis aims to build 100 energy-positive residential towers across Europe by 2030 in a €2 billion investment programme.

The towers will provide apartments at affordable rents by producing power and supplying the surplus back to national grid, enabling substantial savings on tenants’ energy bills.

“What we are most proud of is our partnership with Elithis,” Catella Residential Investment Management managing director Xavier Jongen explained.”They made their first energy positive office tower in 2006 and their first energy positive resi tower in 2019. We checked that the numbers looked okay and that it was not more expensive than other buildings, which is extremely important because if it’s not more expensive then it’s scalable.”

With the proof of concept attained, CRIM decided to invest substantial equity. “What these towers ultimately do is address the housing unaffordability issue. They wipe away the energy bill completely for seven out of ten tenants.”

“Seven out of ten is huge,” he added, explaining that in France the average electricity bill was about €1,617 before the war in Ukraine began.

“Now that’s probably more if you have to sign a new contract probably more than double,” he added

“It’s not the towers as such which are relevant but the message that they convey.”

He said that the message is that there are scalable solutions at market price without additional cost. We can make energy-positive towers that lower the all-in housing costs for tenants and are largely decarbonised, and if that is not an answer to some of the challenges that we have then i don’t know what the answer is.”

Click on the video to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.