Shopping for a greener future

A bioclimatic shopping centre at the heart of an exemplary European 'eco-quarter'

by Julie Aveline 26 October 2010 Urban design
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    The city of Grenoble and the French Ministry of Defence launched in 2000 a programme for the conversion and development of the 8.5-acre Bonne Garrison into new housing quarters (family and social housing), a park and a shopping centre.

    The site, located between the city centre and the 'Grands Boulevards', was sold to the city in 1990 in order to develop a model green ZAC (concerted development urban area) with high environmental quality (HQE), partialy funded by the European program Concerto.In 2005, Groupe-6 won the competition for the design and construction of 16,643 sq m of shopping space, a student hall of residence and a carpark which should open to the public in 2010.

    Winner of the 2009 'Eco-quarter' prize, the Caserne de Bonne project is dedicated to reducing its impact on the natural environment, as well as boosting economic development and quality of life. A beacon of the 'HQE' objectives for a commercial centre, the project has made essential choices; a bioclimatic system and the use of collectively generated power. Heat is produced thanks to the urban heating system (chauffage urbain) - a network heating system allowing a minimum rejection of CO2 (objective of 161g/kwh produced)

    A naturally ventilated mall - no heating, no air-conditionning - with well insulated external façades and an internal envelope that encourages thermal exchanges with the shops. South orientated, it is closed in winter, heated by the sun. In summertime, the doors open allowing natural ventilation. A wooden-structured mall with European tree species only (concrete is used for the superstructure only), this is the first commercial centre of this kind in France. Other sustainable measures include 1000 sq m of solar panelsand an air-conditionning system using the ground water (between 13 and 15 °C). In addition, half of the pluvial rains are absorbed thanks to an infiltration trench, and the rain drops areregulated thanks to the green roofs (holding of 55mm of water, i.e. 68% of the decennial rains, i.e. 80mm over 24h)

    Embrassing the ZAC sustainable regeneration, the centre is designed like a green city quarter. From the material used, the parking, the terrasses by the park, the covered and uncovered streets and squares, the service, to the bioclimatic mechanism, everything belongs together. The mall is a green, fresh and welcoming luminous volume permanently connected to the park and the street. Large glass vitrines, places and restaurant terraces extend these open views while the timber louvers and glass roofs let the natural light infiltrate this shopping promenade. More than a commercial space, the "Caserne" is a place.

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