Eco-design for a greener offering
The principle of saving energy at every stage of projects, enhancing expertise in eco-design, adapting to different types of use and allowing for the consequences of climate change when designing buildings and neighbourhoods are now integral parts of the Group’s design offering.
HQVie® standard: rollout gets underway
HQVie® standard: rollout gets underway
The Haute Qualité de Vie® (high quality of life) standard was developed under Eiffage’s Phosphore, urban sustainable development research programme. Fully compatible with the HQE® environmental standard and reflecting the complexity of a systemic approach to sustainable development issues in urban projects at building, city block and neighbourhood levels. This approach entails studying a wide range of topics, including ecomobility, the energy mix, the intensification and adaptability of uses, and climate change-related risk prevention. The HQVie® approach serves as both a design guide and a project monitoring and decision-making tool. Applying it to urban development projects enables stakeholders (including elected representatives, land and property developers, construction, maintenance and operating contractors as well as local residents) to assess projects' sustainable development positioning and, where applicable, accurately identify any weaknesses.
Eiffage Construction and Eiffage Energie are now implementing it in a variety of competitive tenders: developments with the “Ecocité” label; sports, hospital and education facilities; housing, office and service sector developments; and university campuses
On the strength of its success, the Group designed its Univers HQVie® digital system aimed at fostering a greater sense of responsibility and independence in its regions with the rollout of this standard as well as providing assistance, monitoring the system and driving its continuous improvement. The objectives of this tool, which was placed on line in 2014, include: rolling out the HQVie® approach and the Group’s solutions, providing innovative responses to the requirements of development projects for districts and buildings, ensuring a technical innovation watch, sharing innovations and continuing to expand the Phosphore research programme, propose affordable, reproducible solutions and promote partnerships (for business centres, startups).
The life cycle analysis approach
Life cycle analysis recognised, standardised method optimising comprehensive, multi-criteria assessments. Data on construction materials is circulated in product environmental declarations. By using life cycle analysis tools, Eiffage Construction has made eco-design a constant feature of its know-how since 2006. As there was no tool available to meet the Group’s needs, notably regarding the environmental requirements defined for each project, Eiffage Construction developed its own tool in-house: the ACV product analyser. This tool was used to measure the impacts of construction products or a building on a project’s entire life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials used through to demolition at the end of the building’s life, including phases such as transport and use. The analyser was also a means of comparing products or, even, two construction solutions.
Tools are now available to analyse the life cycle of buildings. Eiffage Construction decided to use the Elodie tool created by CSTB and to assist with its development through a partnership. Eiffage therefore contributed to the data integrated in this tool and helped develop some of its functions. The comprehensive, multi-criteria aspect of Elodie’s life cycle analysis system helps Eiffage optimise its decision-making, implement eco-design principles and assess the performances of its buildings. Elodie is constantly evolving and it will eventually be possible to use this tool to study items enhancing thermal and acoustic comfort, as well as overall cost.
In 2014, Eiffage secured several PPPs launched in the framework of the Campus plan – GreEn-ER in Grenoble, UEB C@mpus in Brittany, Campus Grand Lille and Aix-Quartier des Facultés (faculties district) – notably, on the strength of its integrated offering that was ideally suited to the needs of users and operators.
The GreEn-Er campus, which can accommodate 1,500 students, was handed over in 2015. Various schools and laboratories were set up on this 23,000 sq. m site (including ENSE3, G2lab and some Joseph Fourier University training courses). The building is at the cutting edge of responsible resource management and energy savings. Data supplied by hundreds of sensors is used to model the building’s life – in terms of water and energy consumption – and the results are displayed in the school hall. One of the building’s innovations is a 500 sq. m “living laboratory” where students and researchers can conduct full-scale tests on energy management strategies.
A PPP agreement was signed in December 2015 for the construction and renovation of three junior high schools in France’s Var department with the aim of securing BBC- Effinergie low-energy building certification. This project is being carried out by a consortium led by Eiffage Construction and including Eiffage Energie and Infrastructures division.
The project was based on a multi-criteria analysis with the aim, notably, of ensuring that the buildings comply with specific local requirements. Eiffage is therefore complying with BDM (Mediterranean sustainable building) specifications and is committed to obtaining a Gold label for two projects (in Carcès and Saint-Raphaël) and a Silver label for a junior high school in Seyne-sur-Mer which is being completely renovated. High energy performance specifications are to be met (-20% under RT 2012 thermal regulations). The bioclimatic design technique adopted features insulation solutions allowing for the exposure of buildings to wind and sunlight, and natural ventilation (via thermal chimneys). The energy mix places emphasis on solar power and an innovative geo-cooling process of the ground-coupled heat exchanger type (Carcès). In accordance with BDM specifications, emphasis is placed on the use of biosourced and/or local materials (wood, steel or clay).
For the school in Seyne-sur-Mer, special care is being taken to preserve some of the original buildings. And, regarding the schools’ functionality, they were designed to facilitate the use of their facilities (such as gymnasiums, sports facilities, halls and auditoriums) by local authorities at times when they are not used by the schools themselves. Environmental enhancements include installing green covered areas and school gardens.
Digital technology for the sustainable management of buildings and eco-districts
Digital technology is a key component of projects to ensure their suitability for users’ needs and take up the challenges of sharing spaces, as illustrated by the development plans for the Smartseille eco-district and for the UEB C@mpus in Brittany. This technology is being implemented in partnership with Orange for these two projects. In the case of Smartseille, various digital tools are proposed to support and organise a combination of services including WiFi cover and a social network on a district-wide scale, interactive terminals, e-concierge services, tracking of shared parking and carpooling (available on smartphone) as well as the management of households’ energy consumptions.
Four buildings – in Rennes and Brest – were constructed for the UEB C@mpus, the first connected campus in Europe, linking 28 establishments (universities, engineering and business schools, and research laboratories, etc.) on 38 different sites in the region, and attended by 76,000 students and researchers. It is also planned to fit out 54 interconnected rooms, including group working areas, immersive video rooms, tutorial rooms and tele-lecture halls, as well as an information video wall that can be seen from central locations.
Adaptive, evolutive housing
Keeping elderly people in their own homes and fostering the independence of disabled people in the home environment are key social challenges for housing project – from the design stage. Rather than simply complying with statutory requirements, initiatives are being taken to see dwellings as adaptable, neighbourly structures.
Cocoon’Ages intergenerational housing
Cocoon’Ages is an intergenerational accommodation offering provided by Eiffage Immobilier in partnership with Récipro-Cité in response to new problems connected with increased life expectancy and social isolation. The aim is to stimulate and organise social links, discussions and local solidarity between different generations by providing a combination of suitable architecture and suitable services and organisation.
Special attention is paid to the ergonomics and comfort of Cocoon’Ages homes to welcome elderly people in a spirit of “ageing happily at home”, near public services and shops, with clear lighting and signs, and suitably adapted access points, etc.
Cocoon’Ages multi-purpose, modular premises are designed to provide a perfect setting for bonding group activities. Residents and the manager-organiser may be found in the projects house, the general hall, in the community kitchen or in a garden divided up according to needs.
The evolutive room, an HQVie® solution
The “evolutive room” concept – which is an operational application of evolutive dwellings studies under Eiffage’s Phosphore research programme – offers homes that are designed to satisfy families’ needs and can be adapted to suit the lifestyle of their inhabitants: coming and going of children, home working, nomadic working practices, accommodating relations, sub-letting and bi-residence, etc.
As the cornerstone of this concept, an evolutive room bestows multiple uses on the apartment it is attached to, while remaining independent. It is fitted with sound-proofing and connections to the buildings network, a bathroom, a balcony and two independent accesses: from the adjoining apartment and directly from the landing. An evolutive room can be shared, leased or sold to owner of neighbouring apartment. This Eiffage innovation is offered in the Smartseille eco-district, as social housing or starter homes.
Designing and building differently with wood
Eiffage Construction’s wood policy, formally adopted in 2011 in response to the requirements of the Grenelle environmental summit and environmental quality requirements applicable to buildings, is backed by expertise acquired during more than 25 years’ experience building with wood. This policy is based on a three-pronged approach viewing wood as:
an excellent material for eco-design purposes,
a prime energy source for biomass boilers,
a natural resource that fosters biodiversity asnd offers carbon offset possibilities.
The division’s eco-design principles promote the use of wood on a flexible basis, combining it with concrete for floors, owing to its inertia characteristics and comfort in summer, and with metal for its load-bearing properties for the dry-process construction of projecting structures.
A partnership to back bio-resources
Eiffage Construction has been a member of the C&B association, now named KARIBATI, which federates and represents players operating in the fields of bio-sourced construction materials and products – such as wood, hemp, wool, lined, straw or cellulose wadding – as well as providing them with development solutions. This partnership concerns the setting up of a comprehensive watch on bio-sourced products (covering standards, techniques, insurance, regulations, tender procedures and subsidies, etc.), the distribution of lists of essential regional partners and assistance in assessing and selecting suitable products according to project requirements (10 a year). As of now, KARIBATI is assisting teams working on the Smartseille and Asnières Development Area projects.
The division promotes the advantages offered by wood in all its business fields:
• As a general contractor, it incorporates wood in its project as from the design phase. Design-and-build teams harness the qualities of wood to good effect, and the property development business reduces construction costs by using prefabricated elements as well as satisfying its customers’ environmental requirements.
•From a maintenance and operational perspective, solutions using low-maintenance sustainable species can be both cost-effective and environmentally-friendly.
• The Purchasing department gives preference to suppliers and subcontractors that share the Group’s ethical approach by, for example, obtaining the FSC label.
• Lastly, Eiffage Aménagement masters the natural resource consumption issues associated with the use of wood and operates a reforestation programme with support from ONF (the French national forestry commission).