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The GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation and the Association Maisons de Qualité Invite Architects and Engineers to Help Reduce Energy Poverty


The GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation and the “Association Maisons de Qualité”, committed players, launch the competition for ideas ”Single-family home – Energy for living”.

Today in France between 3 and 4 million people are in a situation of energy poverty, i.e., they spend more than 10% of their resources paying their energy bills. In this context, the GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation and the “Association Maisons de Qualité” are launching the competition for ideas “Maison individuelle, Energies de l’habiter” (“Single-family home – Energy for living”), based on seeking innovative, effective energy-renovation solutions in the home for households – owner-occupiers of single-family housing – in a situation of energy poverty in France.

Indeed, numerous players in the social, housing, industrial, energy and research worlds are taking action on the essential issue of fighting energy poverty. Within the framework of its “Energy Solidarity” program, the GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation supports projects aimed at fighting energy poverty and helping the most disadvantaged gain access to energy. That program falls within the “GDF SUEZ Rassembleurs d’Energies ” initiative as its philanthropic arm. The Association Maisons de Qualité, for its part, performs awareness-raising activities with users and players in the building sector on energy efficiency and renovation issues.

On a more general level, the fight against energy poverty forms an integral part of GDF SUEZ’s business as an energy provider as well as of its social responsibility. Its global approach hinges on three major focus areas: introducing adapted price rates, helping improve housing conditions for people living in precarious situations, and informing and raising awareness about ways of saving energy.

This competition is aimed at architecture and engineering students, as well as young architecture graduates who have been employed for less than two years. Applicants may make up a multidisciplinary team.

Energy renewal serving those in the most precarious situations requires a global approach. Applicants are therefore asked to be inventive and creative, to propose a realistic, relevant solution that necessarily takes into account the financial situation of households suffering from energy poverty, one likely to reduce the money they spend on energy for domestic use (heating, lighting, and domestic hot water), and to improve their quality of comfort.

Four proposals will be selected by the jury and the technical commission made up of experts, key figures from the worlds of architecture and housing, renovation and building professionals, as well as representatives of social-housing providers and of GDF SUEZ.

Winners will receive a prize from the GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation – EUR 2,000 for the first and EUR 1,000 for each of the other three. Moreover, the organizers are committed to exploiting the solutions proposed by each of the prize-winners and to help put them into practice, once the funding and implementation conditions have been examined within the solidarity investment arm of the “GDF SUEZ Rassembleurs d’Energies” initiative.

The proposed solution for energy renovation in the home, which applicants will have to submit by midnight on March 15, 2013, must be based on one of three possible scenarios given by the competition organizers or by any other solution that satisfies all the criteria given in the competition brief.

The results will be published during the first half of 2013 by the Association Maisons de Qualité and the GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation.

The projects will be judged according to the following selection criteria:

-architectural and urban aspects
-relevance of analyses, hypotheses
-techniques (thermal quality, implementation within the site occupied, etc.)
-economical (energy efficiency) and financial (funding adapted to the target) aspects
-uses of the housing and lifestyle
-social aspects (involvement of local players, etc.)Ability to adapt the solution to different situations.

For more information on how to register and take part, connect up to the competition website (

Please fill in the registration form, available on the website, before midnight on February 28, 2013.

1GDF SUEZ Rassembleurs d’Energies

2The “GDF SUEZ is committed to fighting Energy Poverty in France,” press kit:

The GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation

The GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation supports projects involved in actions of solidarity (assisting people in situations of precariousness in terms of health care, education, energy, etc.) or environmental actions (protecting biodiversity and ecosystems, fighting global warming, developing the home of the future, etc.).
The partners it supports are organizations acting for the common good: associations and institutions that are recognized internationally, nationally or locally.
The fight against energy poverty is one of the GDF SUEZ Corporate Foundation’s focus areas within the framework of its “Energy Solidarity” program, which also concerns access to energy for the poorest. Along with responsible investment and skill-based sponsorship, that program is one of three possible channels for action of the “GDF SUEZ Rassembleurs d’Energies” initiative launched by the GDF SUEZ Group.

The Association Maisons de Qualité

Maisons de qualité is a non-profit association (French law 1901), on the initiative of family associations, whose founders’ intention was to choose and support builders of single-family homes who respected the Contrat de construction de Maison Individuelle (CCMI) [a regulatory Single-family home-building contract] and wished to provide even greater overall quality of service.
Today, the Association Maisons de Qualité groups together, in equal proportions, representatives of family associations and consumers, and those of building companies. Alongside them, institutional organizations and private partners provide their expertise and financial support.
The Association Maisons de Qualité brings together players based on common values of honesty, transparency, respect for one another, mutual trust and citizenship.
On the strength of its representative nature, the Association Maisons de Qualité is an impartial player serving the common good: it works alongside consumers on their own projects, supports builders in their quality approach, and organizes civic debates on single-family homes and sustainable development.


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