At present, OpenBox is constructing office space for messaging services in the Lyon region. OpenBox was selected in particular for the environmental performance of its offer and the technical solutions proposed to meet the E+C- certification and BREEAM Good rating.
Frédéric Lamblot, director of OpenBox designs, Héloïse Couvert, director of the Etamine Lyon design firm, and Geoffrey Michalet, Etamine project manager discussed this in further detail:
Why take a commitment towards achieving E+C- certification?
Frédéric Lamblot : At the outset, only BREEAM certification was the aim. However, our client wanted to go one step further, so as to comply with the group policy of being carbon neutral. The technical solutions proposed for construction of buildings form an integral part of this ambitious objective. Consequently, in the space of just a few weeks, we reviewed and adjusted our offer – notably by working in collaboration with Immasset (Assistant Contracting Authority), we studied the Etamine proposals to take account of the necessary adaptations, notably structural in nature, whilst respecting the architectural creation and managing additional costs. Our flexibility and collaborative work allowed us to make a new design proposal which met these challenges. The commitment to a result in terms of energy performance reassured the client on this key part of the specifications.
How close are you to certification?
Héloïse Couvert: Etamine was selected by OpenBox and the client to manage certification. Our design office was responsible for designs and advised OpenBox as to the possible construction solutions available.
Geoffrey Michalet : All of the buildings will be BREEAM Good certified; but the head office also wanted E1-C1 level E+C- certification. Therefore, we proposed replacing the initially planned concrete structure with a primary and secondary wooden structure, which required several adjustments to the overall design. This element has a significant impact on the Carbon footprint. In total, this represents 66 dm3 of wood per m² of surface area.
We additionally worked alongside the Fobis design office for energy requirements (the E part of the certification). LED lighting, dual-flow controlled mechanical ventilation, installation of CO² sensors, solar-controlled glazing and interior blinds, for instance, all played a significant part in energy optimisation of the building.
Héloïse Couvert: We then acted as a link to the certification body. We supervise the project and answer any questions as and when they arise. Certification will be issued upon handover of the building.
What does this represent for OpenBox?
Frédéric Lamblot: At OpenBox we are all immensely proud to be involved in this process, to construct high-performance buildings with a low carbon footprint. We are already anticipating future regulations. We strive to make proposals and be innovative, which is highly rewarding. We hope to be able to offer this certification to other clients in the near future.
Find out more about Etamine
Understanding this new certification
The construction sector represents close to 45% of national energy consumption and close to 25% of greenhouse gas emissions (source: Ministry of Ecological Transition). Learning to reinvent oneself and seek innovative technical solutions to reduce the carbon footprint of our buildings is more urgent than ever in the fight against global warming. The Energy + Carbon – (E+C-) certification was developed by the State so as to increase and promote buildings which were energy positive and with a low carbon footprint. It is a voluntary and experimental certification which is a forerunner to the future RE2020 energy regulation for new builds (of which application has been put back to summer 2021).
The E+C- certification is different to other environmental certifications in force in the construction sector as it relies on a new calculation method based on two indicators:
In early September, OpenBox issued a cheque to the value of €408,120 to its client, Papeteries Pichon. This was reimbursement for a portion of the savings made during the project. The Co Design&Build method, with which our client constructed its logistical platform and head office, can really pay off!
On the basis of several years of operations at OpenBox, we have observed that this method offers the best value when we are responsible for the entire value chain, from the architectural design phase through to final handover.
By offering the shared savings, we hope to convince more clients to trust in us for all phases of their projects: this could be a major change in how they manage their real-estate projects. However, this is the condition so as to be able to benefit from the advantages offered by Co Design&Build, which are, inter alia, financial.
If we are entrusted solely with project design, we make a commitment on results (price, deadline, services) in a framework which is restricted by the choices of other stakeholders involved. Our energy is then focused towards the consolidation of information (not always exhaustive and often contradictory), summarising, and then roll-out of resources, in very tight deadlines. With our clients, we are then less involved in co-construction and more in a relation of principal-delegate, we offer less value, and a good portion of our skills remain untapped.
Co Design&Build relies on collective intelligence. In this method of working, we progressively secure choices along with the client, from the design phase, in a concerted and coherent manner, and we commit to a service, deadline and price. The client retains the right to work with any of our counterparts if he believes we are not the most competitive at the end of the design phase. If the client decides to continue with us, he is guaranteed to be constantly informed and able to collaborate. Furthermore, all of our energy and expertise are permanently focused on continuous improvement of the project from both a qualitative and financial perspective. Our interests are shared.
And beyond the financial aspect, we have observed that this way of working offers a much more peaceful environment, fully transparent and to the overall benefit of the project.
If we once more take the example of Papeteries Pichon, we went head to head in the framework of a call for projects on the basis of a programme developed in-house. We were then conferred the task of studying the soil, conducting the topographical survey, applying for the Construction Permit and leading the ICPE study. It was during this design phase that Papeteries Pichon requested the assistance of Etyo as Assistant Contracting Authority until handover of the construction. In so doing, it had the guarantee of an expert third-party in the real-estate logistics sector, and Papeteries Pichon entrusted us with the project.
The client was involved in co-construction alongside us and was notified of all decisions taken every step of the way. It was involved in the choices to be made, understanding the technical and regulatory requirements at stake.
In line with a breakdown agreed at the time of signature of the agreement and on the basis of certified accounts, and since everything was decided in a transparent manner, we each benefitted from the savings made.
In using Co Design&Build, we are no longer working in a context of opposing interests but in a collaborative dynamic.
Logistical platform and head office covering 21,600 m², fully automated by SAVOYE.
Architect: XXL Atelier
Assistant Contracting Authority: ETYO
OpenBox and BEG Ingénierie have delivered the 4th logistical platform of Dutch group ACTION close to Angers (49). Respecting the demanding and precise specifications, OpenBox was responsible for the technical and financial proposal, performance studies and selection of contractors which it coordinated for performance of the works, with a particular focus on issues of environmental compliance.
The platform’s construction site covered some 70,000 m² and began in Autumn 2019: in total a year of studies and works were necessary for the construction of 8 traditional storage units, 2 hazardous product storage units and a packaging unit. Offices and technical premises were also built to round off the project. The roofing was designed so as to integrate a photovoltaic system. The building will receive the BREEAM Very Good rating. Given the size of the operation, and to further consolidate the OpenBox commitment, the Real-Estate Development Contract was signed between BEG Ingénierie, shareholder of OpenBox and ACTION.