Photo: Agence d’architecture Béchu + associés

As we head into 2022, Paris office building sustainability remains a hot topic.


The latest developments to boost our capital’s green credentials include the construction of wooden office buildings.


We examine this innovative new trend, which aims to make Paris’ La Défense area the first low carbon business district.

La Défense is going green


Although it’s undeniably charming and full of beautiful period architecture, Paris is still one of the most densely-populated cities in Europe.


With more focus than ever on reducing emissions and making the capital ‘greener,’ sustainable construction is in the spotlight.


The latest development to enhance Paris’ office building sustainability is happening in La Défense.


This purpose-built business district sits three kilometers west of the city limits. Currently, it contains 72 steel and glass buildings, including 19 skyscrapers.


These are the tallest and most modern constructions in the Paris area, quite separate from its older neighborhoods.


But the heavy use of steel is changing, albeit slowly, with brand-new office buildings made from wood.



A low-carbon business district


La Défense's ambitions to become a low-carbon business district are already underway.


First is the new office building known as Origine. It’s the new headquarters of Technip Energies, a leading engineering and technology company.


But the most innovative part of the construction are the materials – its main structure is wooden.


Located in Nanterre, opposite the new La Défense Arena, it’s a vast 70,000 m² office developed by Icade. The total building costs were €450 million.


Set across two wood and concrete buildings, it comprises many offices, a business center, auditorium, medical center, and staff restaurants. There is room for some 2,500 employees, should they choose to return following the current challenges of the Covid-19 health crisis.


As well as the more sustainable nature of the buildings themselves, the project includes new greener areas. In total, employees can make use of 6,500 m² of new landscaped spaces, set across gardens, patios, and a roof terrace.


It’s a rare thing to enjoy in this urban corner of Paris.



More examples of Paris office building sustainability


The Origine project is not alone.


Another wooden-based office building is also planned in La Défense, this one called Inspire, on the Puteaux side, in the Bellini district.


Masterminded by architectural firm Anthony Béchu & Associés, the Inspire building will take the form of a crown and will offer 22,000m² of office space, over seven floors. Much less a skyscraper, and more of a squat, rounded structure.


But again, at its heart is a central structure composed of sustainable wood. It’s surrounded by landscaped gardens with 30 trees and another green roof terrace.



Inspire’s reduced carbon footprint


BNP Paribas Real Estate is building the new Inspire office. They aim to reduce the overall carbon footprint, while also “creating work and living spaces focused on the well-being of the occupants, adapted to new climate and health issues,” according to Olivier Bokobza, President of the firm.


The wood used to make the main frame of the building is being sourced from eco-managed forests, is beneficial in terms of thermal, hygrometric and acoustics, and meets the need for more sustainable development.


In addition, the project is aiming for a triple environmental certification. They include energy consumption, biodiversity and energy efficiency.


The new Inspire building replaces an older building from 1970, the Métropole tower, empty for four years.


BNP Paribas Real Estate is also planning to dispose of the previous structure in an environmentally friendly manner.


Inspire is set to open in 2024, after two years of construction.



Other green projects in the capital


There are also other developments that are supporting the greening of Paris.


These include plans to plant urban forests in some locations ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. And not forgetting the eco-friendly restoration of La Samaritaine, something we also reported in this blog at the time.


Ultimately, we predict that these projects will be more and more commonplace, as Paris continues to grow and adapt.


It’s further proof that our capital is not just focused on historic preservation, but also changing to become a healthier, more sustainable, and eco-conscious city of the 21st century.



Here to assist with your real estate queries


While we specialize in residential real estate, we hope our readers find this update on Paris office building sustainability an interesting topic.


Whether you are looking to buy, sell or rent an apartment here, please do get in touch with the team to see how we can help.


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