A long-lasting collaboration working within the public sector
Reid Brewin Architects, in partnership with VEDEA – Véronique Descharrieres Architectures and the Choulet design studio, have been appointed to carry out the energetic renovation of the Ecole d’Architecture de la Ville et des Territoires (EAVT) in Champs-sur-Marne, France, as part of the French government’s France Relance recovery plan.
In the spring of 2021, three teams were selected following a bid review. The jury chose the winning team based on the proposed actions and energy saving plans of each group.
The team formed by the firms VEDEA (Véronique Descharrières & Sylvain Saintpère), RBA (Alex Reid & Ilanit Dahan) and BE Choulet (Louis Choulet) stood out for their experience in the design and construction of the university’s 5,000 m² campus 25 years ago under the direction of the Franco-Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi. Their knowledge of the site, both technically and architecturally, proved to be an undeniable asset when selecting the team to carry out the project.
Targeted measures in line with the original project
After a thorough study, the school administration decided to put in place various measures to ensure comfort both in winter and summer. Louvred windows were installed on the roof and facade of the Atrium – a common space for students – as well as Studios (workshops and classrooms). Destratifiers were also placed throughout these areas, reducing temperature levels during hot weather. Hot air curtains at entrance points managed user flow while aiding in preserving cooler air.
In addition, an innovative waterproof/insulation complex was fitted with photovoltaic panels; part of their electricity production is used by the establishment itself, part is sold off for resale purposes. An inverter was developed to power this system too, with the room ready on site for its intergration.
Finally, renovations were made inside the “levitating” Amphitheatre without disrupting its original spirit from 25 years ago: lighting systems have been updated along with sound systems and architecture restructured while smoke control systems and controlled mechanical ventilation complete it all.
The richness and complexity of a renovation project in an occupied site
The Reid Brewin Architects team has had to demonstrate exceptional agility and adaptability while completing the major renovation project of Ecole d’Architecture de la Ville et des Territoires. Despite the challenges posed by having to work around the activities of students and staff occupying the site, they have managed to accomplish their mission in a timely manner. As they near completion, additional efforts are being placed on drafting a Good Practice Booklet that will guide both maintenance personnel and administrative staff in using the new technologies implemented at the school. Nevertheless, this is only one step towards achieving long-term energy efficiency goals for EAVT – with many more yet to come.