HABITER2030 - Laying the groundwork for a more sustainable future in housing

In a first for EDHEC Business School, the entire MSc in Creative Business & Social Innovation class of 2019 will participate in a prestigious international competition.

Written on 20 Feb 2019.


Solar Decathlon is an international collegiate competition launched in 2002 by the US Department of Energy. It challenges teams of students to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by the sun. 

The challenge for Solar Decathlon Europe 2019 students is to simulate the renovation of existing buildings using modern technologies and a mix of modern and reclaimed materials, with an emphasis on interior comfort and architectural quality.

Fostering change

Lille’s renowned school of architecture and landscape architecture, L’École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Lille, was shortlisted to compete in Solar Decathlon 2019 with its Habiter2030 project, which aims to transform urban living using solar power. The project models the sustainable renovation of 1930s housing in the working-class neighbourhood of Lille Fives. The project does not only focus on architecture and engineering but also takes into account the social and cultural aspects of such a huge refurbishment. 

Because of the scale of the challenge, the school enlisted the help of 14 educational institutions in the surrounding Hauts-de-France region to help on various aspects of the project, including the students of EDHEC ‘s MSc Creative Business and Social Innovation programme.

"I am delighted the students have this opportunity for cross-disciplinary thinking,” says Isabelle Sequeira, programme director of the MSc in Creative Business and Social Innovation. As part of their project-management course, they “always have to undertake a project in groups of three or four, but for the first time this year, we have decided to involve the entire class of 2019 in a single project, because of its scale and international scope.”

The task at hand

The EDHEC students must come up with strategies to raise awareness among the Lille Fives population about sustainable home renovation, ensure good press coverage, find solutions to better manage numerous construction-industry disciplines and help with the logistics of competition events to come (it will be held in Hungary in July). They will also need to build a network of French economic partners in Hungary to promote the event and come up with a business model that facilitates access to sustainable renovation of this kind.

The prototype being built for the Solar Decathlon competition will act both as a test-site for innovative solutions and as a mobile platform for demonstrating them. With the City of Lille named World Design Capital 2020 – the first French city to receive the accolade -- the Habiter2030 project will be on display to visitors from around the world next year.

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