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100 apartments have been refurbished and are heated with wood. © opac38

OPAC38 has promoted and implemented an environmental and energy policy since 1995, in order to achieve controllable rents for the tenants which include service charges. As a part of this program, it has created a wood boiler with a power of 500 kW in 2001 supplying 100 social apartments in Tullins which have also been refurbished (insulation, windows, heat distribution). The energy costs are now among the lowest of OPAC 38, and 200 tCO2 are saved each year.

I Description of the measure

Title in original language: Chaufferie bois de Tullins

Location of CNA: France

Municipality / regional entity: Tullins

Category of the experience: Measure
Type(s) of CNA:

Principal nomination: Technological

Thematic field(s):

Principal field: Energy 
Secondary field(s): Buildings & construction

Spatial scale: Local
Time & duration:

Start date: Construction : 2000 - 2001
Duration: Still in function

Key word(s): environmental policy, social housing, Wood energy


Built in the 60’s, the apartment buildings of OPAC 38 in Tullins (“La Contamine”), among their oldest ones, were badly insulated, had simple glazing windows, and no structured heating system. In the frame of the energy and environment policy, the refurbishment and installation of a wood energy boiler had the following objectives : - financial: reduced rent and service charges for the tenants - social: wood energy generates more local jobs (two to four times more than fossil energy) - economical: the costs of wood energy are lower and vary far less than fossil fuels - environmental: reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and better forest care


The works include : Refurbishment of the buildings: - Insulation (ground floor, attic) - Double glazing windows - Installation of roller shutters - Closure of the loggias - Implementation of mechanical ventilation Heating: - Installation of a wood boiler (550 kW), with a silo (85 m3) - Gas boiler (800 kW) for coldest winter days and domestic hot water in summer - Transition to central heating for a greatly improved comfort. Costs : 1,5 M€


Wood energy represents 75 % of energy consumption for heating and hot water. For a standard apartment, the savings are 260 €/year.

II Assessment criteria

Mitigation effects: High

The savings represent 200 teqCO2 each year

Impacts on adaptation: Neutral


Impacts on environment:

- Landscape: Neutral
- Alpine ecosystems / biodiversity: Neutral
- Water / soil / air: Neutral
- "Other": None


Impacts on society:

- Social justice: Very positive
- Regional / cultural identity: None
- "Other": None

By reducing the energy costs of social appartments, the project greatly reduces the risk of energy poverty.

Impacts on economy:

- Employment / job creation: Positive
- Added value / income: Positive
- Know how / competitiveness: Positive
- "Other": None

The use of wood energy creats local jobs and local activity for forestry. It diminishes the need for imported fossil fuels and the costs for tenants. This project, as others, shows that wood energy is reliable and competitive, and creats local know-how for exploitation and maintenance.

Public relations impact and awareness-raising: Very high

The project shows to tenants, technicians, administrations, other social housing companies, citizens that wood energy is reliable and competitive.

Transferability: Very high

Since no specific technique has been used, the project can be replicated to other buildings.

Cross sectoral and integrative approach: High

The project mixes building refurbishment with renewable energy.

Good governance: High

The project has been subsidised by the Region, the national energy agency, and specific funds for social housing refurbishment.

III Executive body and contact information

Executive body: Administration, Other public bodies

OPAC38 is the main social housing company of the département of Isère. It owns and manages 23'000 dwellings, builds an average of 300 new ones and retrofits around 500 ones each year. It has promoted and implemented an environmental and energy policy since 1995, and then has been the first French social housing company to have an Agenda21.

Contact person(s):

Name: Benoît Jehl
Institution: OPAC 38
Address: 47, avenue Marie Reynoard - BP2549 38100 GRENOBLE
Phone: +33 4 76 20 50 50
Email: [email protected]

Other contact persons:

Other contact person:

Online information:


Available documents:

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