Tour de force: The Eiffel Tower's new clean view

Wind turbines on the Eiffel Tower ©SETE- Photopointcom

Already a showcase when it was opened for the 1889 World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower continues to light the way forward today, with sustainability being a feature on the monument’s new first floor unveiled in 2014.

One of the driving forces behind a recent renovation of the first floor of the Eiffel Tower some 57 metres above ground was a strong desire to reduce its ecological footprint as part of the City of Paris Climate Plan.

An exemplary approach to sustainable development was adopted when work began on renovating the near 5 000 square metres floor area in 2012, even though there are no actual “high environmental quality” building standards for the monument.

The Eiffel Tower Operating Company fulfilled this approach first by installing two vertical axis wind turbines in February 2015. Each one is seven metres high with a three-metre span, and they were deployed 127 metres above ground on the second floor, the most suitable location for optimal windage.

Together, the wind turbines can produce up to 10 000 kilowatt hours per year, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of the shop on the first floor.

In addition, the positioning of the windows in every pavilion on the first floor was reviewed, without compromising the visual impact of the view. This initiative to protect against the sun’s heat will help cut thermal absorption by over 25% in the summer, thereby reducing the energy used for air-conditioning. In addition, LED lighting is now used virtually everywhere on the first floor.

The roof of the Ferrié Pavilion on the first floor has been equipped with solar panels deployed across a 10 metre area. They cover about 50% of hot water requirements in both pavilions, which also use heat pumps to ensure an even temperature. The Ferrié Pavilion also has a rainwater retrieval system which supplies the toilets.

Lastly, on 1 January 2015, when renewing its electric power supply contract, the Eiffel Tower chose GEG (, a company from Grenoble, to supply the monument with 100% renewable energy.


©OECD Observer No 304, November 2015

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