This third phase in the climate tour is with the Archives départementales du Nord, public archives in the Nord department. We’ll learn about how eco-technology works at the most visited Archives in all of France.
A two-century old building faces heating issues head on
Two hundred years, a 14,000-m2 space and 60 kilometers of archives. It took eight years of work to transform this temple of information, conservation and archives of “paper products resulting from human activity” into a positive energy building.
Those who come to consult the archives here in Lille may not be aware of the economic and thermal importance of this place of collective memory. Its thermal and humidity requirements are significant. The building is maintained at 19°C and 50% humidity within a margin of error of 1% per day and 5% per week. It functions 24 hours day, 365 days a year.
A successful energy transformation
This mission is accomplished thanks to the synergy between management and the engineers and architects who worked on this ambitious project. In 2013, after four years of construction Les Archives départementales du Nord shows off its new skin, a perforated stainless steel exoskeleton. With 340 m2 of solar panels and a 18 kW furnace for a staff of 50 employees, the structure is completely airtight and provides extraordinary thermal inertia. In addition, it’s self-sufficient.
Sustainable development is a mentality
“Being energy positive is something that you must mentally prepare for, it is a culture that needs to be lived before trying to earn any type of certification,” emphasizes André Michel, Assistant Director for Large Projects in the Nord department.
Such a large renovation project (14,000 m2) using such advanced technology is rare in France today. “The technical aspect serves to reinforce a strategic approach to the project, and not the other way around,” Michel reiterates. This illustrates why the design phase is so important.
French first public building labeled positive energy
Extensive support for this large-scale construction project was provided by Sorane, a Swiss engineering firm. This was a crucial step in the process of creating a low-energy consumption building. Pierre Jaboyedoff, a specialist in energy optimization, recalls the strong desire within the Nord department to construct the first public building in France to be certified as a low-energy consumption structure.
Jaboyedoff is also co-founder Effin’Art, a climate engineering consulting firm. Thinking back on the project, he also recollects that, “I was surprised at the level of expertise available in Lille regarding energy efficient techniques like high-performance heat recovery systems—there’s an advanced level of expertise compared with other regions around the country.”
Climate tour: a review of eco-innovative sites in the Lille area
We have come to the end of our “Climate Tour”* in the Lille metro area. (Re)read the other two phases of the tour: Pocheco, a company that boosts its own success using renewable resources, and Ovilléo, an ultra-moderne water treatment center.
Interested in knowing more about other Lille-based sustainable development initiatives? Some examples of these successes include:
- Regional expertise in sustainable development found at Cerdd
- The region’s Third Industrial Revolution
- The eco-neighborhood and center of excellence at Union
- The video studio Vertical, located in La Plaine Images where they make sustainable development fun with Les îles du futur (Islands of the Future)
- International companies who seize the opportunity to participate in sustainable development projects in the Lille area include Asona, specializing in acoustic solutions and soundproofing for public buildings.
Co-organized by Cerdd and MEL, the “Climate Tour” is a program visiting commercial sites in the Lille metro area to learn more about the actions taken by sustainable development leaders.