Saint-Brieuc: energy revolution for social housing

The renovation of the Quartier de l'Europe in Saint-Brieuc involves 394 council flats. Major insulation and heating improvements, the demolition of surrounding blocks and the landscaping of external areas have created an airier environment on a more human scale. This ambitious, energy-efficient renovation scheme has introduced wide-ranging environmental and economic improvements and the residents have been consulted throughout the process.

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The Quartier de l’Europe in Saint-Brieuc The Quartier de l’Europe in Saint-Brieuc

" Housing is a factor for social inclusion and also an economic tool. This project has given work to local businesses and kept people in employment. The ERDF tools have been a financial boost. We wouldn't have been able to press on so far with the restoration work, particularly since it is so complicated to assemble the dossiers. "

Bruno Joncour, Mayor of Saint-Brieuc

“The estate is changing, everyone is changing, we don't feel left out,” says a young man who lives in the Quartier de l'Europe. Terre et Baie Habitat, the social housing office in this Breton town, has carried out a huge renovation project here that has meant working both on the flats themselves and on the hallways of the buildings. Insulation work, new double-glazed joinery, low-temperature boilers to replace individual gas boilers, and electronic regulation and thermostatic taps providing optimum heating control have all enabled these buildings to meet the low-energy building standards.

Consultation and satisfaction

The Quartier de l'Europe and some other nearby estates were modernised in two stages (2008–2009 and 2010–2011). The overall project involved not only renovating some buildings but also demolishing others that were too run down, and building new blocks. “The aim was to improve living standards, get away from the council estate planning mentality, convert these flats into homes and mix housing with other activities,” says Caroline Bouder, press officer for Terre et Baie Habitat.

These radical changes are also the result of consultation with the estate's residents throughout the project. A succession of public workshops and meetings took place over the months to ensure that stakeholders were kept informed and were given a voice. As a result, satisfaction surveys conducted in the Quartier de l'Europe (171 assessments, or 50 % of households) gave an average grade of “highly satisfactory” (16/20) for the way the works were carried out and the end result.


The renovation work in the Quartier de l'Europe cost EUR 47 000 per flat. For Caroline Bouder, “tenants will see their energy bills fall by an average of EUR 350 a year. Consumption in their flats will simply be cut in half. Overall, this means saving the equivalent of 120 tonnes of oil and 296 tonnes of CO2 a year. It was certainly worth the effort. This is Brittany, in a town where many blocks of flats date back to the 1950s and are in dire need of a facelift and some new thinking.”

Total investment and EU funding

The project “Restoration of 394 flats – Quartier Europe – Saint-Brieuc” has a total budget of EUR 9 500 000. The contribution from the European Regional Development Fund comes to EUR 1 116 000 under the “Restoration of Social Housing” objective for the 2007-2013 programming period.

Draft date