For the first time in France, a biosourced and PEFC-certified building: an exemplary project in terms of sustainable development for the new joint building of the Vosges Ouest Agency of the ONF Grand Est, the Safer Grand Est and the Chamber of Agriculture of the Vosges.

In 2012, while the administrative buildings of the Vosges Ouest agency of the ONF Grand-Est and the Vosges Chamber of Agriculture faced a problem of compliance with safety and accessibility standards, the reflection begins around a common building project, with positive energy and low carbon footprint, bringing together the 2 organizations.

The idea? Reconstruct rather than renovate, with controlled costs, a low environmental impact thanks to French wood taken from public forests and transformed by local companies. 

A regional project bringing together all the companies in the region's wood processing chain 

The 1st PEFC-certified building in France is above all a regional project that reflects the will and commitment of the co-owners, in a virtuous approach to the use of bio-sourced materials, including local wood. As such, this project includes a strong societal dimension since it has made it possible to highlight the entire Vosges wood industry, which is particularly dynamic in the region. From production in the forest, to the use of wood energy in the boiler room, including processing plants, architects and carpenters, it is a real economic engine in the department. The contracting authorities therefore wished to promote local employment and labor.

PEFC certification in a nutshell

PEFC project certification attests to the use of PEFC certified wood for all or part of a construction or renovation. It guarantees that all stakeholders in the realization of a timber construction project have applied the principles of wood traceability of the PEFC chain of custody. The PEFC certification of this construction guarantees the use of wood materials from sustainably managed forests and controlled sources. It symbolizes the desire to promote consideration of the environmental, societal and economic dimensions of the forest. To allow visitors and residents to go through the stages of this PEFC traceability chain, from forest loggers to carpenters, including sawyers, flashcodes will be placed on each of the building's beams.

An exemplary environmental approach

From architectural reflections to interior furnishings, the entire building has been designed to enhance the natural resources available locally and serve as an example for the sector as a whole. Result of the work of the Vosges project manager Jean-Luc Gérard Architecte, this construction of nearly 3000 m2, made and furnished 75% in wood from Vosges national forests and PEFC certified for their sustainable management, also includes 5 green walls and soon photovoltaic panels.

“This building aims to be eco-responsible from every point of view. For example, 100% of the roof water will be recovered and the building will be connected to the Colombière urban heating network, which uses wood energy as fuel. Outside, there will also be a layout that reflects our activities ... The idea was to have a positive energy building with a low carbon footprint that looks like us, with French wood taken from public forests and transformed. by our Vosges companies ”explains Denis Dagneaux, director of the Vosges Ouest agency of the ONF Grand Est in Épinal.

The first to receive PEFC project certification in France, this building symbolizes the shared ambition of the entire building construction chain to promote sustainable management which takes into account both the environmental, societal and economic dimensions of the forest. 

A regional project that mobilized the entire local sector

90% of the companies selected for the public contract are from the Vosges rural center of excellence. Thus, the entire local timber industry was mobilized at each stage of the design to carry out this project. For example, the wooden furniture and the layout of the building were designed and produced by students from ENSTIB, the school of wood engineers in Epinal, apprentices from CFA d'Arches and AFPIA. from Liffol-le-Grand and from the Roville aux Chênes school. More broadly, the sawmills, the ONF, the Chamber of Agriculture of the Vosges, the Safer and the urban community of Epinal have worked together for the success of this deeply territorial project, in order to make it an example for all. the sector.

Building on this success, this new head office aims to encourage other project owners in France to build wooden buildings using short circuits, and in particular wood from the Grand Est region, the second largest forest region in France.

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