In 2016 /2017, the major authorities of Paris Metropolitan area launched a call for proposals towards a new way of urban development in the Parisian area. It was called ‘Reinventing cities’ with various components: metropolitan concerns, the Seine river, the underground and also dedicated lands for urban development and regeneration. QUARTUS was involved in the submission of a project with some of the partners later involved in Earth Cycle
At the same time, an important architectural and urban exhibition took place in the Arsenal Pavilion in Paris (https://www.pavillon-arsenal.com/fr/expositions/10485-terres-de-paris.html). The commissioners of this exhibition were the architecture studio Joly&Loiret and the Amàco association.
In parallel, the European call for projects of the Urban Innovation Actions Initiative had started its second season and the Ile de France region was encouraging the implementation of responses to this very interesting call. The Ile de France region provided communication and assistance in setting up with local authorities in the region to encourage them to respond to the call for projects for Urban Innovation Action and subsequently, it contributed financially to the project. This conjuncture made it possible to consider the passage from the idea to the action and to the project thereafter.
Ludovic was interested by this innovation and the question of earth excavated from the Grand Paris Express Metro line (https://www.societedugrandparis.fr/) was considered as a priority by the concerned local authorities and the French government in charge of this gigantic project.
The Mayor of Sevran was seduced by the idea of participating in an earth materials factory, as he is going to have two metro stations in his town. Negotiations between private partners and the city of Sevran took place before the submission of the project to identify the best scheme of partnership. Who is investor and who is owner of the factory? This type of partnership is new in France and allows to be applied on other actions in connection with private and public stakeholders in the service of innovation.
The virtues of the use of raw earth are numerous, in terms of hygrometry for example, playing the role of thermal stabilizer, reducing or replacing the use of air conditioners and offering the building high comfort and acoustic resistance. It is a 100% natural, recyclable material with great inertia. Mud walls act on interior temperatures by storing or de-stocking the captured energy, which improves comfort in summer and winter.
Left raw or coated, bricks produced by Earth Cycle offer a wide range of treatments. Brushed with linseed oil, they immediately return to their original appearance. If the use of BTC is slightly more expensive than traditional brick (from 150 to 210 euros per m2 depending on the level of finish, installation provided), the overall cost of conventional construction, covering the bricks included, is equivalent.
The raw earth is also 100% healthy and free of VOCs (volatile organic compounds, considered the first source of pollution of inhabited spaces).
Ludovic recalled that during this period, QUARTUS has changed CEO twice, and despite the fact that the earth activity is far from their major concerns, and the earth construction activity is not profitable yet, the support of the CEOs was flawless. The word Geo resource is now commonly used. It doesn’t have yet the same level of recognition yet as Bio resource but it is just the beginning! It is not only thanks to the promoter but to a whole team which believes in this resource.