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A new kind of university building in brittany, dedicated to digital technology

To bring campuses permanently into the digital age, the Université Loire Bretagne (UBL) has launched the construction of four new buildings using a High Environmental Quality approach. These four buildings are spread over several campuses at the UBL, two buildings are located in Rennes on the Beaulieu and Villejean campuses, while the other two were built on the Bouguen campus in Brest and at the Technopole at Brest Iroise, overlooking the ocean.

Campus numérique de Bretagne, Rennes

Egis worked on this project as project manager, and provided project management consultancy for all the Environmental PMC and monitoring of certification. The advantages of this real estate project are:

Energy: the four buildings are covered by a performance contract between the builder and the UBL, which has resulted in a building design focused on energy efficiency and comprehensive operational monitoring to ensure this performance. Several choices were made during the design phase to meet performance goals:

  • The choice of exterior insulation reduces the need for thermal bridges and provides high thermal inertia, which – when combined with nocturnal ventilation – can delay temperature rises in the summer.
  • The university is connected to the district heating network.
  • The premises are heated by radiators with low thermal inertia, which optimise the consumption per room based on internal and solar gains, except in the lobby where under-floor heating has been installed, and in the amphitheatre where the air handling unit (AHU) fitted with a CO2 sensor provides the dual function of ventilation and heating when occupied. Two other AHUs are installed to ventilate the premises, in addition to mechanical ventilation in the toilets and other rooms with specific pollution under negative pressure. The digital tech. classrooms are designed so that air is blown into the room and extracted to a technical cabinet, which helps to keep the air circulating and directs the servers’ heat loads into the extract ventilation. There is no active cooling except in the control room of the filming and recording studios where the internal heat gains are highest. Cooling is provided by refrigeration units with heat recovery to enhance the thermal energy of refrigeration units.
  • Technical buildings management has been set up, in order to monitor, plan and control the production equipment and terminal facilities, monitor consumption and interact with users (display in the lobby)

Operation & Maintenance: site maintenance for the next 25 years has been entrusted to Eiffage teams, allowing for excellent responsiveness in the event of requests for assistance from users. The cost of this service is included in the total rent paid by UBL. The amount was calculated using an overall cost calculation and numerous discussions between the designer and the operator

Visual comfort: 100% of the rooms for prolonged/special use have access to daylight and outside views. Thanks to this architectural design, as well as the choice of pale flooring, walls and ceilings, the premises are very bright, which is already appreciated by current users.

Air quality: For the well-being of future occupants, all materials that come into contact with the interior air are class A or A+ to ensure healthy air in the building

Hygrothermal comfort: the premises are equipped with radiant heaters with certified static thermoregulation that helps to regulate the temperature in each room in a more sophisticated way.

The integration of buildings into their environment:

  • The buildings only offer a few parking spaces for light vehicles in order to promote the use of public transport. Plenty of storage has been installed for bikes and the sites are connected to bike paths. All buildings are on a public transport route like the bus in Brest, and by 2018 there will no longer be a single university building in Rennes that can’t be reached by metro.
  • To ensure pleasant views from neighbouring buildings, the roofs are vegetated and technical equipment is placed in a sort of “golden box” to make it disappear in the building’s architecture.


A study of overall cost has identified the most beneficial technical solutions in the context of the building’s future operation. The buildings have been subject to air permeability testing and reach a Q4 of up to 0.51 m3/h.m² and a RT2012 level of 50%. The project located on the campus of Rennes Beaulieu is competing in the Green Building Solutions Awards 2016logogbsawards2015