Cergy, June 13, 2019 – SPIE CityNetworks, a French subsidiary of the SPIE group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has been chosen by Vichy Communauté, the district of Vichy, to participate in the redevelopment of a large area of the left bank of the Allier. This new development, which will also involve other professions, aims to enhance and boost activities on the riverbanks while preserving the natural ecosystem.
Photo credit : © Axe Saone
Renowned for its cultural and natural heritage, the district of Vichy wants to breathe new life into the Allier’s riverbanks both for businesses and for tourism. With a partnership spanning over a decade, Vichy Communauté has been a longtime customer of SAG Vigilec, a subsidiary of SPIE CityNetworks, and launched a call for tenders in 2018 for work needed to redevelop the left bank of Lake Allier in the Bellerive-sur-l’Allier commune. SPIE CityNetworks successfully met that ambitious challenge, and did so while complying with the stringent provisions on professional integration and the environment.
Reclaiming the bank areas
Five years after the redevelopment of an initial section of the right bank of the Allier by SAG Vigilec, this time the subsidiary of SPIE CityNetworks is undertaking work on the left bank to distribute high voltage electricity (as part of the transportation systems and infrastructure works package), to provide and install public lighting columns and to illuminate unique sites. The specifications provide for the installation of 208 lighting columns 5.40 and 10.50 metres tall, 117 wooden poles 7 and 5 metres tall, 43 spotlights embedded in the ground, 101 metres of embedded LED light bars and 21 spotlights highlighting a dovecot. This range of equipment should enable an attractive and welcoming environment to be created so walkers can reclaim these areas but also so more businesses and restaurants open there.
Following a 6-month design phase undertaken by SAG Vigilec’s internal design office (September 2018-March 2019), the electricity distribution works began in March 2019. The installation of public lighting should begin in June and last until autumn 2019. This work will involve 20 employees and more than 2,600 hours of work.
Scenographic lighting to enhance the area
Much more than the mere installation of lighting devices, the development of the left bank of the Allier is truly highlighting the landscape. When combined with ambient lighting, scenographic lighting enables natural or architectural features to be showcased: noteworthy trees, wooden walkways, etc. “The redevelopment of the left bank of the Allier involves restoring beauty and nature to the area,” states Cédric Brandely, Regional Director Auvergne of SAG Vigilec. “The light designer, Axe Saône, was able to create original designs such as the “poppy” lights which rest on steel stems 5m in height and resemble fireflies.” Audio equipment rounds off the scenographic installation.
An ambitious and ecological redevelopment
Creating a site of such size in the middle of a natural area is unprecedented. Meaningful dialogue with the local communities and the environmental coordinator from the design phase helped to increase awareness concerning the impact of the work and the environmental issues. This enabled SPIE CityNetworks to evaluate any disturbances that its work could cause in order to put forward suitable workarounds: selecting natural materials such as wood for the light poles and LED lights which are configured to select an optimal amount of lighting. Particular attention was also paid to optimising electrical installations and light management.
The technical, environmental and aesthetic approaches employed by the subsidiary of SPIE CityNetworks for the redevelopment work perfectly match the aspirations of the district of Vichy, Vichy Communauté. On this matter, Frédéric Aguilera, President of Vichy Communauté and Mayor of Vichy stated: “The redevelopment of the banks of Lake Allier is an ambitious and complex contract in which both lighting and illumination are significant aspects in terms of safety and the quality of the landscape. SPIE CityNetworks, via its subsidiary SAG Vigilec, knew how to achieve this with technical know-how and the expertise required which led us to place our trust in them once again for this operation.”
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