For many years, we have been examining a wide range of innovative solutions aimed at reducing the long-term impact of our developments. Green Office® ENJOY was one of our first developments to receive the BBCA low-carbon-building label, in July 2016. It is the largest office building in France to be awarded this accolade. Thanks to its hybrid timber and concrete structure, Green Office® ENJOY will save 2,900 tonnes of carbon, the offset equivalent of 1,500 newly planted trees. Not only that, the development will produce 23.5 kWhFE/m² per year of renewable energy through its 1,700 photovoltaic solar panels and connection to the mixed-development zone’s district heating system.
A green urban environment, with a particular focus on biodiversity, is a vital component of good living standards for city-dwellers. It is consequently a key building block for our property developments, at every phase of operations. We take particular care to ensure that biodiversity is taken into account at neighbourhood level, because of the significant benefits it yields for communities. To harness nature’s productive power and strengthen social ties, Bouygues Immobilier is also developing urban agriculture projects.
In the Font-Pré eco-neighbourhood in Toulon, plans exist to develop close to 10,000 m2 as gardens, walkways and green oases. Some 5,000 trees and plant species will be planted in total, providing a natural habitat for wildlife. In partnership with the local branch of the LPO (French bird protection league), nesting boxes have been installed to accommodate swifts and redstarts, for example. As a sign of its ecological performance, the project has been awarded the BiodiverCity label, obtaining the top A-rating in three out of the four categories.
Bouygues Immobilier makes the circular economy an integral part of its projects, ensuring that its programmes fit into this framework on several levels, from neighbourhood, to building, to housing unit. Measures to recover or recycle worksite waste and obsolete materials are studied in conjunction with suppliers right from the planning stage, giving sustainable resource management a central role in urban development projects. Recycling chains are put in place with industrial partners, environmental bodies and social enterprises. Recycling stations, recovery centres and repair cafés are installed in neighbourhoods to encourage short-cycle reuse solutions and make residents more instrumental in the circular economy. This has the added benefit of forging social ties. Such locations serve several purposes and are adaptable over time. For example, they can be used for job clinics.
One particularly emblematic initiative is taking place through a project reconverting a brownfield site into a 23,000 m² mixed-use neighbourhood in Bagneux (near Paris). Here 82% of the recovered construction materials are due to be reused – a first in France. Encouragingly, and contrary to the received wisdom, demolishing and recovering used construction materials does not take any longer or cost any more than a straightforward demolition would.
Under the Green Office® brand of positive-energy offices, we were the first to design buildings generating more energy than they consume. And we have always been one step ahead of regulatory changes. This led us to take an interest early on in renewable energy sources. We also trialled smart grids, used for managing energy and reducing power consumption in entire neighbourhoods.
IssyGrid is the first urban smart grid in France, spanning the Seine Ouest business district and the residential district of Fort d’Issy, in Issy-les-Moulineaux (near Paris). It meets the needs of some 10,000 people, over a total surface area of 160,000 m². From now onwards, all our UrbanEra neighbourhoods will be equipped with a smart grid. A firm commitment has been made on six of them so far.
Meanwhile, Bouygues Immobilier in 2016 started its own blockchain-inspired project. Blockchain is a technology used for storing and securely transmitting information without the need for a central counterparty. We are determined to seize the opportunities offered by blockchain in the energy field to create urban environments that are both desirable and sustainable. A demonstrator representing a decentralised local-network energy-exchange supervision system is being built in the Hikari urban development, in Lyon.