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2022-03-18 8:55 CET, Europe, France, Germany | Property Investment Management | Press release

Catella Launches World’s First ‘Energy-Positive’ Residential Impact Fund to Invest in Elithis Towers Across France

The world’s first ‘energy positive’ residential impact fund, which will invest a planned €500mln in Elithis Towers, designed to produce more energy than the building and tenants consume, across cities in France, has been launched by Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM). The towers, developed by French sustainable building engineering and real estate developer Elithis Groupe, deliver both operational carbon neutrality and effective affordable rents through the elimination of domestic energy bills, hence increasing each household’s annual purchasing power.

The new Catella Elithis Energy Positive Fund (CEEPF) qualifies as an Article 9 ‘dark green’ impact fund, the highest designation under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation. The first energy positive buildings to be invested by the Fund are already under agreement in the cities of Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, and Nancy. A further 20-25 additional sites have been identified across France with current work in progress in cities including: Mulhouse, Brest, and other suburban areas near Paris. Other European cities in markets including Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, will follow in other fund strategies as part of a wide-ranging 10-year investment programme targeting a total investment volume of €2.0 billion in developing 100 Elithis Towers across Europe.

Xavier Jongen, Managing Director, CRIM, said: “Our new impact fund is a trail-blazing global first for Catella in partnership with Elithis. These towers outperform the EU’s 2050 net carbon zero target operationally by using technologies which render them energy positive from the start and they can be built at market standard construction costs. The residents benefit from a substantial reduction or complete elimination of their household energy bills, which makes effective apartment rents more affordable than comparable homes in the neighbourhood -- around 5% to 10% lower on average -- and this is particularly relevant at a time of soaring energy prices in Europe. The Elithis Towers are the ‘decarbonisation and societal fairness benchmark of the future’ for the pan-European residential investment market, and we are looking for like-minded impact investors to partner with Catella in realising what could be a catalyst for the sustainable transformation of our cities way beyond even our ambitious current plans.”

Catella Residential IM has already initially invested in the development of two Elithis Energy Positive Towers in the French cities of Saint-Etienne and Dijon for the Catella European Residential Fund III and an institutional mandate. The Elithis Tower design enhances solar power generation by covering the roof and part of the building facades with photovoltaic panels and harnessing this to bioclimatic principles such as optimising the building’s surface area to limit heat losses in wintertime, capture the sun’s path during all seasons to boost solar energy gains and managing internal temperatures through automatic sunscreens and natural ventilation systems to cut costs and reduce environmental impact through energy-efficient operations. But it is the ‘human element,’ that really takes the Elithis model to new levels of environmental sustainability. Residents can control the climate of their homes through a proptech smart app which nudges them to act if temperatures are moving out of the desired range or artificial light is not needed in the room, among other features. Behavioural psychology then kicks-in, as tenants can minimise or eliminate their energy bills and earn an annual bonus, paid through the sale of the building’s surplus electricity to the national grid, by managing the energy efficiency of their homes. This overcomes the fundamental problem in residential real estate, which is the single largest source of carbon emissions globally in operation and construction, that most people don’t treat their homes as businesses, so energy efficiency isn’t maximised.

Thierry Bièvre, President & Founder, Elithis Groupe added: “The Elithis Tower residential design is the first in the world to link the delivery of operational carbon neutrality to the provision of affordable rents, while not affecting investors’ returns, so everybody and the planet wins. This model provides a globally scalable ESG solution for the two greatest current crises of our times, climate change and widening social inequality, that are increasingly playing out in the earth’s environment and political polarisation. Our partnership with Catella in their new impact fund provides investors with the ability to really make a difference in residential real estate, the asset class that is bigger than all other investments combined, from fixed income to equities, because whether it’s rental or owner occupier, it’s what 8.0 billion of us humans call home.”

The world’s first energy-positive residential tower at scale, developed by Elithis in Strasbourg, France in 2018, has achieved an 8% annual surplus of energy production over consumption. That performance would save an average French household €1,600 per year in energy costs. If extrapolated to every rental property in France, Catella estimates the total savings would be equivalent to the entire French education budget, at 6% of France’s GDP, or roughly €145 billion in 2021.

Jan Vanhoutte, Managing Director, Vistra Fund Management shared: “We are delighted to be working again with Catella as host AIFM to provide all regulatory services such as distribution, valuation, portfolio and risk management on an ambitious and innovative ESG real estate development product. Catella’s new impact fund, in partnership with Elithis, addresses climate change challenges and the increasing need for affordable housing in cities with the revolutionary energy-positive design. This carbon neutral design is the future of affordable and sustainable residential living in Europe and is scalable to provide a global ESG solution. Vistra welcomes this initiative as it fully aligns with our corporate value of ‘Doing the right thing' while enabling investors to deploy capital in accelerated transition towards sustainable investing following the EU regulations.”

 

BBC StoryWorks: The World’s First Energy Positive Residency:

https://www.bbc.com/storyworks/building-communities/the-worlds-first-energy-positive-residency

 

INREV ESG Case Study: The World’s First Energy Positive Residential Tower:

https://www.catella.com/en/germany/news-and-press-releases/press-releases/2022/elithis---inrev-esg-case-study-the-worlds-first-energy-positive-residential-tower

 

About Catella Residential Investment Management GmbH (CRIM) 

Catella launched its first European residential fund in 2007, Catella European Residential, which now has €1.7 billion of assets under management. The team also launched the first dedicated European Student Housing Fund in 2013.

CRIM is a subsidiary of the Stockholm-based Catella AB Group and its residential real estate business comprises portfolio management, acquisitions, sales and asset management. CRIM manages and advises several funds and mandates and has assets under management of more than €6.0 billion across 11 European countries. 

For more information, please contact:

Bellier Financial

Steve Hays: steve.hays@bellierfinancial.com
Wouter Bouma: wouter.bouma@bellierfinancial.com
T: +31 (0) 20 419 09 01

 

About Elithis Groupe

Based in Dijon, France, Elithis Groupe is a French building engineering consultancy and real estate development company. A pioneer in low carbon footprint and energy positive buildings, Elithis ranks among the leading players in the fields of building consulting engineering, sustainability, energy, carbon, and environmental efficiency.

With more than 25 years of experience, over 100 employees, and 2,500 projects, Elithis has a long track record in supporting construction and real estate companies with sustainable, competitive, and innovative solutions, bringing a holistic approach and guaranteeing increased energy savings on their building and renovation projects.

Press contact Elithis:

Claire Cauchetier, Brand & Communications Manager
Tel: +33 (0) 6 26 28 18 10, Email : claire.cauchetier@elithis.fr

Alan Kirsch, Head of Business Development & Investor Relations
Tel: +33 (0) 7 77 73 55 34, Email: alan.kirsch@elithis.fr

Elithis’ offices:

Tour Elithis, 1 C, Boulevard de Champagne
BP 41249 – 21012 Dijon CEDEX – France

http://www.elithis.fr/

About Vistra

Seizing opportunity together: At Vistra, we believe your business and your people can make a difference in the world. That’s why our work is focused on helping our clients act with confidence and speed to seize opportunity wherever it arises. As a global corporate service provider and fund administrator with more than 5,000 professionals in over 45 jurisdictions, we empower legal entities globally to work smarter, grow faster, act responsibly, protect capital and scale across borders — by doing what we do best: reducing risk and enhancing efficiency. Discover how we can help you and your business seize opportunity today by exploring our services at www.vistra.com. 

Media Contact: Sylvia Evans, media.enquiries@vistra.com

Picture: Tour Elithis Bordeaux “TEBiO” // Architect: CANAL Architectes