OBJECTIVE: SELF-SUFFICIENCY > Image > Dassault Systèmes®


Creating a virtual twin of the tower meant its operations’ management could be conceptualized with carbon neutrality by design, from the earlier stage.

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Making a carbon-neutral future – the road to self-sufficiency

Reducing carbon emissions from building construction and logistics is one thing. However, even after they are constructed, buildings continue to emit carbon and other GHG emissions from heating, cooling, electricity use, and other ongoing operations and maintenance activities. 

Creating a truly sustainable new tower meant accounting for these factors early in the design phase, where 80%* of the final impact is determined. This involved selecting sustainable materials and designing energy and water management systems to reduce carbon emissions during the entire lifecycle. The first thing the team needed to do to achieve carbon neutrality was to understand the future uses of the building, as well as the resource consumption and carbon emissions associated with those uses. Then, they were able to integrate that data into their conception process.

They began by clearly defining what the tower was: a vertical garden. This meant that it would play host to lots of plants and trees, all of which needed to be maintained with a huge amount of water. It also required the development of effective waste management and water management solutions which would include using recycled water to maintain the tower’s gardens.

These would be in addition to the energy management system that was used to understand how much power the tower could generate. Using the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, designers were able to combine a virtual twin of the building with forecasting tools and designed these systems to be self-sufficient during building operations.

For example, the designers evaluated different solutions to achieve a green energy mix for the tower. When operational, the energy mix used by the tower would reflect the energy mix of the French grid – predominantly hydroelectric and nuclear energy. However, this grid-based energy would be supplemented by additional energy generated by solar panels affixed to the façade of the tower. Then, a datacenter connected to the tower would use that to generate heat when needed.

Furthermore, the plants on the tower would help insulate the tower in winter and reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer. All told, the combined energy saving measures allowed the team to reduce the usage of non-renewable energy sources, compared to the original Eiffel Tower, from 13% to 4%. That would translate to the 27 tons of CO2e saved per year.

Virtual twins helped with water management as well. Using dashboards fed by predictive data, the designers could easily understand how much water would be needed for the plants and how much of this water could be sourced through rainwater collection. In fact, thanks to the water management system, the tower would be water-positive, constituting no additional burden on Paris’ water infrastructure. 

The tower is designed for sustainability in other ways too, with vertical gardens helping to lessen its carbon footprint, dampen sound, and enhance the visual impact of the tower within the Parisian landscape. 

Thanks to the collaborative nature of the platform, the whole team was involved making these decisions. By working from a shared single source of truth, the team could develop a smoother and more efficient relationship with the contracting authority when it came to planning and implementation.

Finally, this means facilities management could then integrate real-time data from monitoring systems with the virtual twin of the building to analyze its performance. Project stakeholders are able to find the best ways to minimize energy use, water consumption, and losses to create a truly self-sufficient tower.

*Source: McKinsey&Company - Product sustainability: Back to the drawing board - February 7, 2022.

Thanks to the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, we can now anticipate, simulate, and optimize the carbon footprint of a building throughout its lifetime.

Rémi DORNIER > Image > Dassault Systèmes®
Vice-President, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Dassault Systèmes

How to design sustainable operations with Bastien Hillen

Click below to learn how our experts designed the new tower's entire operations model and lifecycle with the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, allowing them to make the most optimal decisions for people, planet and business.

The missing link between reality and the virtual world

Anticipating the operations of the future building in the virtual world to mitigate its impact in the real world.


Leverage virtual twins to optimize building facilities and infrastructure operations while reducing costs, improving productivity, and boosting sustainability.

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© design of the new tower by Nicolas Laisné Architectes