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Case Study: ABB’s New HQ in France Saves 25% in Energy Costs

Edouard VidoudezBy Edouard Vidoudez, ABB France.

The new ABB headquarters in France is located outside Paris in Cergy Pontoise. It was converted from a factory into an office building, and is now fully equipped with advanced building automation systems including centralised monitoring.

The new ABB headquarters in France.
The new ABB headquarters in France.

To bring the site into line with safety standards, ABB took the opportunity to install a building management system (BMS) and use its own low-voltage products to create an innovative and energy-efficient solution.

The Brief

The building was to be fitted with ABB products and solutions to voluntarily comply with ISO 50001 – an energy management standard. The brief was to bring more comfort to the building’s occupants and monitor the energy savings automatically. The main objectives of the project were to:

• Increase the headquarters size to 7000 square meters (~75,000 square feet).
• Renovate the building management system.
• Optimise facility management.
• Ensure occupants’ comfort.
• Control and reduce energy consumption.
• Have scalable spaces and respect for the environment.

The Solution

ABB equipped the new Cergy site with a range of solutions that are dedicated to energy management, lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning. The five main areas of focus were as follows:

1. Optimising the whole electrical system

To improve the existing electrical installation, ABB used low-voltage products including the new main switchboard System pro E power (formerly Artu K). Seven switchboards were installed, all equipped with the latest PI Spring (push-in and spring) terminal blocks and Quick Safe surge arrestor, five racks, and two inverters. In addition, the new Emax2 circuit breaker was installed to manage the total power of the building. This manages low-voltage electrical installation loads whilst connecting to supervision systems.

All hot/cold plant (boiler, heat pump) is controlled and driven by integrating automation cabinets, AC500 programmable logic controllers and the latest generation of AF contactors. Indeed the Emax2 already meets the tariffs that will go into effect in 2016, and can analyse the energy and financial performance of the building over the long term.

The entire electrical system has been completely renovated.
The entire electrical system has been completely renovated.

2. Comfort of occupants thanks to BMS

The building is equipped with a BMS that supports control of heating, air conditioning, ventilation, blinds and lighting, and uses ABB i-bus KNX systems for control and overall management.

Temperature regulators, light sensors, presence and brightness detectors are installed throughout the building, and controlled using time management integrated in Newron doGATE software. This automatically adjusts the lighting levels, heating, air conditioning and blinds, based on brightness, the presence of employees, opening hours and site closure. Office lighting is provided by L’Ebénoïd LED panels and controlled by KNX. In addition, for the safety of occupants, the entire site is equipped with 170 blocks of Thomas & Betts Kaufel emergency exit lights, which are connected to the BMS.

ABB i-bus KNX devices optimise the energy efficiency of the new building and offer a pleasant working environment for employees.
ABB i-bus KNX devices optimise the energy efficiency of the new building and offer a pleasant working environment for employees.

3. Managing customised workspaces

The planning team was sensitive to the fact that employees have individual preferences when it comes to comfort controls such as temperature and lighting, and that most would like to influence their environment without relying entirely on technology. This was addressed by setting up comfort zones for individual offices, open spaces, and meeting rooms; and by the BMS allowing employees to control local thermostats and lighting, as well as controlling these applications remotely via a software widget. All of these scalable and open BMS functions are provided by Newron doGATE automation servers, which feed all data through all field protocols such as KNX, BACnet and ModBus to the site supervisor.

4. Supervision of energy consumption

To illustrate and visualise energy consumption in real time, a screen was installed in the reception area for everyone to see. A measurement data retrieval system dashboard allows the viewing, monitoring and analysis of energy consumption for each commercial and industrial building. Since the site’s opening, a 25% saving has been achieved by managing these energy costs, and further savings will be achieved after optimisation. All main and sub meters of the buildings and additionally the network analysis of the industrial building are provided by the latest generation of ABB B- and C-Series energy meters with MID certification, communicating via ModBus.

5. Ecomobility

Ecomobility also has its place in the new Cergy site. Indeed, specific parking spaces have been created for electrical vehicles powered by a multistandard Terra 53 terminal that has been adapted to all vehicles in the market.


With this new headquarters building in France, ABB has created a prime reference for energy efficiency that provides customers with an opportunity to discover how building control technologies can help them in a real-life setting. Intelligent building control based on ABB i-bus KNX, the Newron BMS solution and the other ABB low-voltage solutions create building spaces with optimised energy efficiency and a pleasant and inspiring working environment for employees.

Edouard Vidoudez is the Marketing Communication Manager for low-voltage products at ABB France. ABB is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact.

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