Behind the scenes of a green construction site
Villages Nature® Paris is a new holiday destination a few kilometres from Paris and from Disneyland® Paris, which constitutes a huge and innovative step in sustainable family tourism.
“Villages Nature Paris is an innovative project that demonstrates the ability to combine large-scale tourism and sustainable development», explains Dominique Cocquet, Managing Director of Villages Nature Paris.”
Since its beginnings in 2003, Villages Nature Paris has led an unprecedented and global approach to sustainable tourism through the application of a Sustainable Plan of Action inspired by Bioregional’s One Planet Living methodology. Based on maximum reduction of the destination’s environmental footprint, this plan constitutes Villages Nature Paris’ commitment charter for all of its development phases.
True to this commitment, the destination’s construction has been carried out in respect of a Green Construction Site Charter, whose objective is to reduce the site’s environmental impact to a minimum. This approach is demonstrated through various actions, such as the filling of lakes exclusively with run-off water, reusing all excavated soils, protecting and creating natural habitats for protected species and using cement with a low carbon content. “This year, I had the pleasure of visiting the construction site and seeing all of this work beginning to bear fruit”, said Pooran Desai, Co-Founder of Bioregional. “ Villages Nature Paris is a particularly stimulating example of an initiative working for sustainable development.”
THE VALUE OF GEOTHERMAL ENERGY
The site’s heating demands (the Aqualagoon’s bathing water, all of the buildings’ heating and hot water) will be provided by the use of geothermal energy. Thanks to two 1,800 m-deep wells drilled into the Île-de-France’s ‘Dogger’ earth layer, water, heated to 78°c by the Earth’s core, will be used to heat the surface heating networks by a thermal exchange process. It will enable a saving of 9,000 tons of CO2 every year compared to a natural gas system.
THE AQUALAGOON’S PERFORMANCE
Once the construction is completed, the Aqualagoon will be audited as part of the HQE (High Environmental Quality) certification. Among other things, the audit will examine its energy efficiency, correct water management and the performance of its materials. The aim is to achieve “ high performance ” certification, which is awarded to construction sites, water and energy management systems with low environmental impact and an environmentally sustainable performance.
“Waste recycling at the construction site has surpassed the objective of 80% with a sorting rate of 82%”
CONSERVING AND PROMOTING BIODIVERSITY
Maintaining and strengthening biodiversity is central to the Villages Nature Paris vision. The objective is to increase the number of protected species at the site beyond original levels and to progressively diversify their natural habitats. Results of the first measures taken are promising. For example, the recently-created upper lake is already home to new bird species, such as the little ringed plover (charadrius dubius) and the common tern (sterna hirundo).
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