VINCI ParisTech Environment Research Lab
In 2008, VINCI and ParisTech set up the Eco-design Chair to promote research into the environmental performance of buildings and infrastructures. VINCI recently decided to consolidate this partnership by creating the VINCI ParisTech Environment Research Lab with a view to forging new ties between industry and research.
VINCI has been working with three of the ParisTech schools (AgroParisTech, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech and MINES ParisTech) since 2008. The schools’ complementary areas of expertise have helped VINCI to tackle projects relating to sustainable development. Since the beginning of the sponsorship arrangement, VINCI has invested €7 million to fund research across the three schools and finance a number of doctoral positions.
With the renewal of the partnership and the transformation of the Eco-design Chair into the new Lab, VINCI is investing a further €5 million (over a period of 5 years) for research into the energy efficiency of buildings, sustainable mobility and biodiversity.
The Lab has defined three goals:
- Limit the environmental impact of buildings and neighbourhoods in a cost-effective manner;
- Integrate environmental aspects in today’s digital tools, in particular by making energy simulation part of Building Information Modelling (BIM);
- Increase public well-being, comfort and health, in particular by reducing urban heat islands.
Through the partnership, researchers at the three schools have access to unique testing environments, whatever their field of research (biodiversity, sustainable mobility, neighbourhood Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs), energy efficiency of buildings).
Similarly, the VINCI teams benefit from the work of the schools’ researchers, who publish articles in scientific reviews and present their results at the annual Lab symposium and at the workshops and public lectures organised by the Lab. Operational teams known as “mirror groups” also work alongside the researchers to assist them with the actual implementation of their projects.
Thanks to an approach based on action research, VINCI has already developed a number of tools via the partnership. Examples include Urbalia (urban biodiversity), Equo Vivo (ecological engineering) ou encore Power Road® (positive energy road) and the Pléiades software.