The environmental research lab is launched! Formerly named Eco-design Chair, it is the result of a partnership between the Vinci group and three ParisTech engineering schools under the aegis of the ParisTech Foundation. Since 2008, the research centres have been designing tools to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, neighbourhoods and infrastructures.
The environmental research lab wants to be part of a process of scientific patronage. It wants to promote the development and dissemination of knowledge on environmental issues, in connection with Vinci's business activities, in the general interest and with respect for the independence of researchers. Research results are made public and shared not only with the scientific community, but also with all city and regional stakeholders to facilitate decision-making and improve uses.
Vinci's projects serve as a testing ground for researchers working on three essential themes for ecodesign: energy efficiency of buildings and neighbourhoods (Mines ParisTech); biodiversity (AgroParisTech); and sustainable mobility (École des Ponts ParisTech).
The three main issues of the roadmap up to 2023
- Limit the environmental impact of buildings, neighbourhoods and transport by controlling costs:
In terms of eco-neighbourhoods :
- Guide neighbourhood design to reduce various environmental impacts, such as carbon footprint, energy, water and other natural resource consumption.
- Take into account the constraints of cost, comfort, variability of uses and climate in the ecodesign of buildings and neighbourhoods.
- Optimising transport planning policies from an economic, social and environmental point of view.
- Improve the assessment of energy performance in terms of reliability, usability and costs.
- Include local energy production in the building's optimal energy management strategies.
- Assess the social impacts of transport projects and infrastructure development. - Study the impact of new forms of mobility on user expectations and investments. Ecological compensation
- Develop a "serious game" for ecological compensation projects.
- Assess the socio-economic and ecological issues of compensation.
- Develop a decision support tool for compensation.
In terms of circular economy :
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- Measuring the impact of using recycled raw materials in transport infrastructures.
- Assess the sustainability of urban agriculture as a source of food.
– Integrate the environmental dimension in the digitalisation of business activities, in particular through the integration of energy simulation in BIM (building information modelling). :
About BIM - Building Information Modelling :
- Adapt building life cycle assessment (LCA) tools to BIM.
- Couple the socio-economic assessment with the building's LCA.
In terms of resilience :
- Predict the influence of microclimates on the energy performance of buildings.
In terms of Big data :
- Use road flow data to learn about driver behaviour and the relationship between departure and destination locations.
- Simulate and evaluate the mobility of the inhabitants of a neighbourhood and the social, economic and environmental impacts.
- To know the behaviour of travellers thanks to mobile phone, electronic toll collection and ticketing data.
- Propose solutions that improve the well-being, comfort and health of users, in particular by reducing urban heat islands. :
When it comes to comfort :
- Use connected sensors to find out the impact of behaviour and climate on the energy performance of buildings.
- Assessing comfort in public transport and road transport.
In the area of health :
- Locate pollutant emissions and anticipate their transfer to the human body.
With regard to services rendered by nature :
- Predict the impact of urban greening on air quality and heat islands.
- Study the services rendered by roof gardens.
The partnership between Vinci and ParisTech has already made it possible to feed numerous environmental solutions supported by the construction group's business lines, such as Urbalia (urban biodiversity), Equo Vivo (ecological engineering), Power Road (energy-producing road), or the startup Kocliko.
The tools developed are also intended to be implemented on demonstrator projects, such as in Saint-Denis in the context of Dream of urban scenes The life cycle analysis of the Enlightenment district allows a precise evaluation of the environmental impacts.
An "action research".
The particularity of the environmental research lab is the strong collaboration between the company and the researchers: this is called "action research". Vinci's projects serve as experimental laboratories. At the same time, the environmental research lab provides Vinci subsidiaries with the knowledge necessary to develop business opportunities that meet the environmental expectations of customers and employees. The operational application of the lab's research work has three main outlets: capturing innovation trends in eco-design, feeding Vinci's green solutions, and contributing to the creation of new activities.
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