Project Description

Located in the neighbourhood of ‘Ravine Blanche’, in Saint-Pierre, Niama is a social housing operation that includes 19 units. The building is closed to a new urban park, both part of an urban renewal program that aims at restructuring the neighborhood and connecting it to the city center. Ravine Blanche is the only neighborhood that awarded the french 'EcoQuartier' certification in the tropics among 32 other projects in 2013. This existing neighbourhood already received in 2010 a local distinction for its innovative approach. The building includes passive features such as cross natural ventilation and solar shading devices so as to enhance thermal comfort while reducing energy consumption.

Carte r%c3%a9union monde
Carte r%c3%a9union st pierre
Niama casquette   int
Niama casquette
Carte niama
Niama int

Building Details

Social housing

New building project




69 m²



59 m²



85 m²



109 m²

1695 m²

1695 m²

RTAA DOM (Thermal, Acoustic and Ventilation Regulation in the French overseas department)

EURO 3.219

EURO 1899


Project Team



Integral Ingénierie


Climate Analysis

NIAMA is located in Saint Pierre, in Reunion Island. This volcanic island is located in the Indian Ocean and experiences tropical climate which is marked with hot and humid weather conditions. This area is also often struck by tropical cyclones, generating building difficulties. The climatic conditions (monthly temperatures and solar radiation) of the city are shown in Figure A. The prevailing winds blow from the east and south-east - the west coast being known as the leeward coast. Due to the remote and insular conditions of this region, conventional fossil fuels are the main source for its primary energy demands. As a result, the production of electricity is limited while the island aims to achieve self-sufficiency in electricity production by 2030. One solution to this challenge is to encourage the construction of ‘green’ buildings and the development of renewable energies.

M%c3%a9t%c3%a9o st pierre

Design Approach

Niama is located next to a new urban park, that was previously an unused urban space. The new park, which was part of the process of urban tissue restructuring of the neighborhood, is a green lung for the city of Saint-Pierre. Niama has been harmoniously integrated between the vegetalised area of the new park and the mineral area of the existing buildings.The East facade of the building is more mineral with light-coloured painted walls and metal cladding whereas on the urban park side, it is the wood materials that prevail. It is viewed as a "bridge" between the two areas.

NIAMA uses many passive design measures so as to reduce its energy consumption while maintaining satisfactory thermal comfort conditions inside the building. The building is naturally cross ventilated thanks to its optimal orientation and the use of glass louvers located on opposite facades. Main facades and windows are solar protected thanks to fixed vertical or horizontal solar protection depending on the orientation. The exterior facades of the lowest storey are made in light painted concrete. The two last storeys of the building, which are more solar exposed, are covered in wood or clear sheet metal siding facade. Solar absorbtivity is low and prevents overheating of exposed parts. Exterior verandas also aim at preventing the sun from entering the building. The building is surrounded by native plants and benefits from its proximity to the urban park.
Niama am%c3%a9nagement
Niama plan masse


Special Feature

WWR > 20% Overhang and vertical blades for shading

The passive solutions are described below: 1: Fixed vertical solar shading, louvered shutter on the East side so as to protect from the morning sunlight and the trade winds; Pergola on the West side. 2: Solar protection measures on the main facades include simple roof overhang, fixed horizontal solar shading and sun and rain protected exterior veranda. 3: Inside porosity is maximized by the use of louvers on opposite facades, allowing cross natural ventilation.

Building Material

First floor: 18cm of concrete+ 2cm of expanded polystyrene+ air gap of 0,5 cm+1,3 cm of plasterboard Last floor: 2cm of wood+3cm of expanded polystyrene+ air gap of 10cm+1,3 cm of plasterboard Other floors: Insulated sheet metal complex Mauka Brizz (ArcelorMittal)+18cm of concrete


Insulated sheet metal complex Mauka Brizz (ArcelorMittal) + 13mm of plasterboard

Energy systems

Installed by the occupants

Car park: PALERMO T5 - 2*49W / Hallway and stairway: Downlight Jumbo Tridonic 2X42W

High-performance ceiling fans: Hunter Industry 2 BN - 1CF/10m2



Domestic hot water for all the units of the building is produced thanks to 40 m² of solar thermal collectors. Individual water tanks are installed in each apartment. Type : solar thermal EZINC - Model E23HP-V Total area=40m2
Niama solaire
Niama solaire

Lessons Learned

No information available

A Post Occupancy Survey will be conducted this year so as to evaluate the interior thermal confort.