A building with positive energy exploiting the resources of two key DuPont materials

Specified for a building which claims to produce more energy than it consumes, 2200 m² of Corian® and Tyvek® were installed to enhance the thermal efficiency of the structure and contribute significantly to this objective.

Currently, Corian® is the only category of solid surfaces to have received a technical evaluation CSTB (no. 02/11 1472) for its facade work. It has also obtained European Technical Approval (ETA-13/0377) and a seismic additive is in the final stages of processing at the CSTB.

Resembling a sleek white ocean liner, the new Regional Environmental City building makes a striking impression at 90 avenue du Général Leclerc in Pantin. The building is much more than beautiful, however. The combination of a gleaming facade made from Corian® in Glacier White and Tyvek® breather membrane fitted behind maximises the multiple benefits of these two high-performance DuPont materials to create an original, durable and sustainable architectural project.

Specified for a building which claims to produce more energy than it consumes, 2200 m² of Corian® and Tyvek® were installed to enhance the thermal efficiency of the structure and contribute significantly to this objective.

By virtue of its unique, high quality composition, Tyvek® is naturally vapour-open but air and water tight. Robust, easy to install and UV resistant to Tyvek® advanced breather membranes provide exceptional protection for the building, both during the construction phase and over the long term. The white colour of the Tyvek® 45 membrane makes the rain barrier completely invisible behind the open joints between the Corian® panels of the facade in rebates and sash rebates.

The versatile and hi-tech properties of Corian® allowed for complex specifications and precise tolerances to be achieved on this project, including forming to five different angles. A total of 584 panels of 3 different sizes (up to 4.10 metres long), and 12 mm thick were machined off-site to keep material waste to a minimum.

 A.E.A, certified fabricators of Corian® within the internationally renowned Quality Network, is a specialist in the construction of Corian® facades (with a dozen projects to their name), undertook the highly skilled and valuable work to realise the architectural vision for this ground-breaking project. Expert techniques included thermoforming large angled panels, seamless bonding and digital cutting. A.E.A. also worked on site when necessary to make adjustments to the pre-cut panels to meet certain constraints specific to the site (for example, the slope of the street) and also to allow for the assembly of rebates and sash rebates. The façade panels were installed by Hervé (78).

For Patrick Péberay, manager of A.E.A, the key challenge was the thermoforming the panels, particularly to achieve the variety of radii required: “For this project, we had to produce both flat construction and curved elements. To fit the panels to the structure, we used Etanco aluminium frames (with KEIL inserts) allowing us to obtain a thermal break between the fixing points of the façade (flexible aluminium profiles) and its concrete structure, according to the express request of the architect and so that this system would provide the building with positive energy.”

Some figures:

  • 2200 m² of Corian®, i.e.584 panels of different sizes
  • 2200 m² of white Tyvek® 45, i.e. 32 rolls
  • 112 rolls of 30 metres of adhesive, providing waterproofing for the rain barrier
  • 90 double face adhesive rollers to bond the Tyvek® membrane to the rails
  • 9 months to manufacture and install the panels – delivered at the end of 2013

Regional Environmental City: 90 boulevard du Général-Leclerc, Pantin, Seine Saint Denis

Client: PRD office + semip (semi-public company of Pantin)

Contractor: DPLG architects Olivier Fassio and Jean-Brice Viaud

Includes 260 employees of different agencies: Ondeparif, the development and equipment company of the Paris region (Saerp), the Regional Agency for the Environment and new energy (Arene), Airparif, Bruitparif or the Green Spaces Agency.

Structure: 4 storeys, 6,000 m² of offices, 2200 m² of Corian® facade, optimisation of exposure percentage (with non-openable windows), roof covered with photovoltaic panels and a geothermal PAC. 70 glazed parking places semi-buried on the ground floor (with natural lighting). 

Labels: HQE, Breeam (international certification) and bepos (building with positive energy), gold medal of the new carbon scale.

Forecast level of consumption of around 40 kWhep/year/m².

Certified DuPont™ Corian® converter:

A member of the DuPont quality network, A.E.A. provides its expertise in Corian® fabrication to professionals and individuals. For exterior applicatons, A.E.A is the leader in installing Corian® facades. A.E.A achieved a first in Bordeaux: the Seeko’o Hotel and since then has acquired exclusive technical expertise with a dozen projects.