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The clear value of wood

For its design activities, Egis has a major responsibility in terms of the embodied energy of buildings. To minimise the energy intensity of buildings, the use of a renewable resource is an obvious choice. Wood, a traditional material, opens the way for responsible construction. Whether for the structure, façade, insulation or energy systems, wood can be used in many forms. Egis’s multidisciplinary culture allows it to address these issues across many different projects. The sheer size of Egis, and its participation in various national working groups for timber construction, also helps the development of our French industrial Wood subsidiary, by removing regulatory obstacles, promoting the use of local resources from sustainably managed forests, and helping the development of the French wood industry.

The benefits of wood

Structure bois du stade
Structure bois du stade
  • The “carbon” benefit: Choosing a wooden structure for buildings is obviously one of the first examples of a low carbon approach implemented on a project. The wooden structure of the project represents fixed carbon stock that contributes to the project’s overall carbon footprint in the long term.
  • The “warmth” benefit: Wood is a material that can be left exposed and that naturally creates a warm and cosy atmosphere.
  • The “durability” benefit: timber has the intrinsic property of being particularly lightweight in relation to its durability.
  • The “construction” benefit: choosing wood means that all or part of the construction can be done as a dry process, which optimises waste reduction (prefabrication, on-site reuse), and considerably reduces the disturbance of local residents, and the execution time on site.
  • Fire retardant: contrary to popular belief, wood is a material with excellent fire-resistant properties. The regulations are the same as for buildings made of concrete or brick,
  • Healthy: wood is known to have heart regulating properties. It is reported to reduce stress in occupants and reduce absenteeism rates in offices.

Discover our achievements and our expertise in design and construction using Wood.

We love wood. We love that it grows, that it traps the carbon contained in our atmosphere, and that it’s a natural fabric cleverly woven by living things, fuelled by solar energy.

Could our century be the era of wood? Wood is lends itself perfectly to digital industrial tools, offering exceptional structural potential and
extremely short turnaround times. There’s also the fact that wood offers unrivalled benefits in terms of ambiance and architectural finish, with impressive qualities when it comes to climate control: intrinsically insulating, it also allows effective hygrothermal regulation.

Find out more: references, articles 

  • Egis is involved in three projects that have each won the “Immeubles à Vivre Bois” prize for wooden residential buildings (Wood-up on Paris Left Bank, a 50m-high residential tower / the “Tour Commune” project, a 15-floor university residence / the Light House project, a 14-storey housing project. Find out more french website)
  • Enjoy, the largest positive energy office building and wooden structure in France
  • Clichy Batignolles Joint Development Zone (ZAC): this office building will be a first in the Paris region. Positioned over the tracks of Saint Lazare train station in Paris, the structure had to be lightweight. It was impossible to build it in concrete, and a “prefabricated” wooden structure was chosen over the current metal solutions typically used for this type of project. The use of a BIM is another innovative aspect of the project.  From the 1st to the 6th floor, the structure is built in wood (floors, poles) as is the façade. The building must meet the standards of a GREEN OFFICE® building and will have the specific feature of being “energy positive” which means that over the year, it will generate more energy (in renewable energy) than it consumes. Egis’s role in this project includes coordination of design studies, operational project management, scheduling supervision and coordination and the summary report. Delivery planned for late April 2018.
  •  Bordeaux: Egis, in consortium with the developer Kaufman & Broad, and architects Art & Build along with the Bellecour studio, was joint winner of the contest for the construction of a high-rise building (55m) in Bordeaux, which will be the tallest wooden building in France. This project, with its main structure in wood, impressed the jury thanks to the technical calibre of our work.
  • Nanterre/La Défense: ICADE approached Egis to assist architects Quadrifiore and Maud Caubet on a brand new adventure: 70,000 sqm of office floors in a wooden/concrete structure, 35,000 sqm of which is in wood. The project, christened ORIGIN, is eight floors high, almost as high as the Méridia tower project. This is an ambitious project both in terms of comfort and well-being at work, and of course in terms of environmental performance. For this project, Egis is carrying out EPCM for the wooden structure and façade, all building trades, and acoustic EPCM for the wooden structure and façade with Elioth, all building trades by Egis, Acoustics by ACOUSTB
  • Nice: The Palazzo Méridia tower, a 35-metre wooden office tower over nine floors. The building method used – cross-laminated timber – is key to achieving the desired height, and is reinforced with a metal exoskeleton. 900 tonnes of wood will be used for the construction. In addition to the Effinergie BePos and Bâtiment Biosourcé labels, the tower will also seek to achieve BREEAM in Use certification and level Silver under the initiative Bâtiments Durables Méditerranéens (Mediterranean Sustainable Buildings). It has also been shortlisted by the ADEME as part of the Manag’R contest on the quality of indoor air. Wood will also be predominant in the interior layout, which will be made up of wide open spaces (with the lifts, stairs, etc. around the periphery), providing multiple and versatile layout opportunities. (source Batiactu french website). Egis is providing the EPCM for this project on behalf of Ywood, a subsidiary of Nexity specialised in the construction of wooden structure offices
  • Nice: France’s second wood construction prize (french website) awarded in 2015 to the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, for which Egis was project manager. Find out more
  • Strasbourg: In 2014, France’s national prize for wood construction was awarded to Les Haras Brasserie in Strasbourg for which Egis was the project manager in 2014. With nearly 700 projects in competition that year, the national prize for wood construction reflects the popularity of this material. The jury, chaired by Bruno Mader, was made up of 25 industry professionals, representatives of professional organisations, builders, architects, engineers and journalists. “All are recognised experts in architecture, wood construction and design, and are capable of having an overview of the sector and its potential“, said the organising committee. See the pictures

And many other references:

The Lycée Jean Baptiste Corot (french website) in Savigny sur Orge (image below), Besançon cultural centre, the eco-hemp space (french website) in Noyal sur Vilaine

bois ; façade ;
façade bois du lycée