NORPAC, Nord-Pas-de-Calais

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NORPAC is a construction and consultancy enterprise committed to the incorporation of sustainable energy and energy conservation. Based in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, they employ 750 people. The majority of the work they advise on and implement is in the housing sector but a fast-expanding minority is taken up with environmental industry and commercial space.

Results and impacts

Located in a region of high-unemployment, Norpac have gone some way to boosting the economy due to their large employment reach and excellent standards for training and employee well-being. 10% of their employees over the last five years were employed through an initiative with the unemployment register. With the support of AGEFIPH, Norpac has doubled the employment rate of disabled workers in the last five years.

The first commercial building certified HQE and BBC north of Paris, the ERE Park is a showcase of technical innovations designed to control energy consumption. After several years of operation, ERE Park demonstrates the impact of all this research, showing an overall energy consumption that is 3.5 times lower than the previous Norpac headquarters.

In 2013 Norpac was responsible for the development and construction of the Archives du Nord in Lille, the first positive energy building of its kind. Directly in line with the Third Industrial Revolution initiative in the region, its success has opened the route for further government investment in this type of innovation

Aims and objectives of this sustainable energy action

On July 2013, Norpac CEO Pierre Rolland announced that the company wished to be recognized as the benchmark for sustainable construction on the region.

Norpac are part of the Actitudes sustainable development policy. It was put in place in 2012 to give the construction industry a central standard for sustainable developments. This initiative concentrates on the environmental and social responsibilities of the construction industry, from the conception to the completion of each project. Actidudes has four main goals:

· Green sustainable projects.

· Bringing together clients and partners with similar aims.

· Ensuring local support and involvement.

· Guarenteeing the health, security and education of their workforce.

Last year, Norpac published a booklet of twenty-one proposals for moving into the Third Industrial Revolution. These proposals focus on boosting the region's renewable energy production, and educating workers on sustainability.

Technical and financial implementation

Norpac pride themselves on constant innovation and research into sustainability. The company spends two-thirds of its research-and-development budget on sustainable construction and is responsible for the ' Positive Frame and Biodiversity ' research project.

Some of the methods Norpac research and employ include 'Isolpac', a sustainable external insulation consisting of a textile lining and a lightweight frame mounting system; and ' self-compacting concrete B2C', a self-levelling concrete with a lower carbon footprint than traditional concrete.
Part of the energy-efficient approach is to get it right the first time around. Norpac have taken the virtual build a step further; using computer mock-ups to measure the energy efficiency of the building. The virtual building programme simulates the bioclimatic environment– shadows, sun, wind effects – as well as having an inbuilt conflict-detection feature.

Incentives and internal challenges are set up by Norpac to encourage and reward innovation in their workforce. They employ such innovative methods as fitting sensors to buildings to measure brightness, presence, wind, humidity and temperature, in order to control the operation of systems and optimize energy performance.

In their pioneering ERE Park, performance measurement instruments are distributed throughout the building to keep the inhabitants aware of energy consumption. In addition to the 1,500 sensors there are 119 300 probes and temperature controllers, opening sensors on each window, and a weather station.

Norpac is a subsidiary of Bouygues Construction; part of the Bouygues Group.The most recent available figures indicate that Norpac has a turnover of between €200 and €260 million a year.

The company often receive private and public funding for particular projects. ADEME and the European FEDER funds , for example, supported the ERE Park project .

Contact details

NORPAC, 1, avenue de l'Horizon - BP 29
59 651 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex
Tel : 0033 (0)3 57 63 40 00
Fax : 0033 (0)3 20 47 28 03

Further information

In November of this year work will begin on a new sludge and waste-water processing plant in Villeneuve d'Ascq, and in December a new water-filtration plant in Marquette-Les-Lille, both government-funded initiatives to improve the ecology of the areas in question and cut down on harmful waste.