Good Practice > Buildings > Catalan University, Prades

Catalan University, Prades

Region: Pyrenees, South France
Implemented on:  Local level
Target group: Building stakeholders


The cross-border cultural association “Universitat Catalana d’Estiu” decided to install infrastructures of teaching and accommodations in the Castel Vall Roc located in Prades (not in the area of the Natural regional park but close to). This little town has a mediterranean climate and many hours of sun. The maximum consumption for new extensions had to be less than 130 kWhep/m²/year incl. heating, hot water, ventilation, lighting and cooling. But the architect managed to go below 50% under this level with local renewable energy and test of measure of permeability in the air. Even for renovated parts of the building, very low levels could be reached, and the building will be labelled according “BBC”. The hot water is produced by solar panels on the roofs of the extensions, with supplement pellets wood and centralized storage of 3000 l.


  • A common desire to the contracting authority and to the project manager was an eco design and environmental concerns: Global energy optimization and, use of healthy materials
  • Respect of the patrimonial specificities of the castle.


  • Building extensions: 1 240 000 € (free tax). (1 900 € free tax./m²);
  • Starting of the extensions: 200 000 € (free tax);
  • Renovation for the castle: 1 590 000 € free tax. ( 1 290 € free tax./m²).


  • North façade : 16 cm wool of rock behind wooden board R = 4
  • West & East gables : 15 cm expanded polystyrene with coating R = 4
  • Ground : 10 cm expanded polystyrene R = 3
  •  Roof : 35 cm straw + 10 cm fiber wood R = 7.5.

Lessons learnt:

  • This project is an important good practice example in the region;
  • Indoor climate and living comfort are very good, what is important for transfer of experiences;
  • Measurements are under process for confirming calculated results.