Ideally located in the Part-Dieu district, the Swiss Life tower has been op-timised and renovated with ambitious carbon emission reduction tar-gets.
Swiss Life Asset Managers France follows an ambitious strategy in terms of socially responsible investment (SRI). Initiated in 2009, this SRI strategy has been enriched over the years by constantly striving to anticipate regulations. While great importance is attached to the construction of virtuous buildings, the central philoso-phy of this strategy also includes improving existing assets.
In fact, developing assets under management is crucial to reducing the property stock carbon footprint. In recent years, the management and asset management teams of Swiss Life Asset Managers France have developed rating tools for real estate assets and implemented processes to improve these ratings and measure the impact of the actions taken. More recently, the Swiss Life Group has set itself an ambitious new objective to decarbonise its own property stock at a European level.
All the portfolios under management will gradually be modelled using an internal tool based on a recognised European standard, namely CRREM (Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor). Action plans have thus been deter-mined at the level of each property to align the portfolio under management with a low-carbon trajectory of 1.5°C, up to 2030 as an initial step.
Reinventing the Swiss Life tower in Lyon
The Swiss Life tower built by Swiss Life Group in Lyon at the end of the 1980s is a perfect example of this strategy to improve existing assets. Following a complete diagnosis of the tower's environmental and social profile, as well as an analysis of its market position, a deci-sion was made to reinvest in the building to enable it to compete with more recently built towers in terms of environmental performance and user comfort.
The work plan, launched in 2015, already amounts to more than EUR 10 million invested by the group.
The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment (fan-coil units, vertical & horizontal networks, CTM and AHU) has been replaced by state-of-the-art installations allowing both energy savings and better regulation; the lifts have been renovated, the office spaces entirely redefined with the help of an architect and a meeting space equipped with recent technologies. The tower’s reception area has also been redesigned.
To ensure the maintenance of the building's performance, an ambitious Energy Performance Contract (EPC) has been concluded, consisting of a commitment to reduce the electricity consumption of the common areas and heating/cooling from the urban network.
Doubly certified operation
These actions have already enabled a more than 25% reduction in the tower’s energy consumption compared to 2018 and the attainment of double operating certification: HQE Exploitation Very Good and Breeam-in-Use Very Good. As of 2024, the tower should exceed the obligations set for 2030 by the tertiary decree. Besides its location in the heart of Lyon, this high-rise building offers a high level of comfort to users (with many win-dows on each floor, panoramic views, increased bright-ness, a meeting room open to the public, and showers available to the occupants).
"As with the Swiss Life tower in Lyon, it is our responsi-bility to develop the existing real estate in our property stock under management, especially so as to anticipate market needs by offering users an excellent environ-mental profile at the best price/quality ratio. This means offering attractive rent with a range of new services and long-term costs," says Anne-Marie Auri-ères-Perrin, Head of Asset Management and Real Estate Services at Swiss Life Asset Managers France.
Remarkable asset in an evolving area
The Part-Dieu district is the second largest tertiary dis-trict in France after La Défense. It is reinventing itself with an ambitious programme started in 2021 that aims to make it a model of urban development re-sponding to the challenges of climate change by 2026. This programme consists of greening public spaces, promoting soft mobility, diversifying activities and re-ducing the carbon footprint of buildings.
The Swiss Life tower fits in perfectly with this philosophy, both through the work already undertaken and the work to be carried out in the coming months, in particular the improvement of its surroundings in collaboration with the metropolis of Lyon, and the planned installa-tion of electric charging stations and bicycle stations within the parking area.
In addition, our assessment of the needs of the tower’s users leads to a complete redesign of the lower floors (meeting areas, hospitality, auditorium…) and the ongo-ing optimisation of charges.
The strategy developed by Swiss Life Asset Managers for this asset is a specific example of how existing assets can be used to meet the environmental, economic and social challenges facing us as professional real estate portfolio managers.