EUROPA, an outstanding building with original lines, is a showcase for the expertise of the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications
Cergy, 21 January 2016 – Employees at the headquarters of the SPIE group and two of its specialised subsidiaries, SPIE Oil & Gas Services and SPIE Nucléaire, moved into their new premises in the EUROPA building on 18 January. A showcase for the expertise and experience of SPIE in the areas of energy and communications, EUROPA is a smart, responsible and efficient building which meets HQE and BREEAM standards. Teams from SPIE Ile-de-France Nord-Ouest and SPIE Communications have worked on this new-generation building for 16 months, managing and directing the implementation of all the technical aspects – heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, active ceilings, high/low current electricity, geothermal heating and communication networks (voice, data, images).
Built under the direction of architect Anthony Béchu, EUROPA is designed as a vessel in a sea of green, with a view of La Défense and Paris. The transparent entrance hall with split-level access, combined with the terrace in the centre, makes the most of the terrain and gives the building volume, scale and space.
The objectives of this new building include being the showcase for SPIE’s activities in terms of efficient buildings (ease of use, services, energy efficiency, security, safety) and responding to the major challenges of a modern, progressive group, namely flexibility, communication, synergies and teamwork.
Environmental performance expertise
EUROPA has outstanding environmental qualities and meets the HQE Construction standard, achieving an “outstanding” grading against six of the targets. It is also well placed to obtain BREEAM “very good” certification, as well as HQE Exploitation certification.
There has been particular emphasis on energy performance throughout the operation, as witness the choice of a 6-tube heat pump with geothermal harnessing (60 probes going to a depth of up to 99 metres). This system is linked to a network which feeds the heating and cooling floors in the lobbies, covering an area of 400 m², complemented by reversible radiating ceilings in the offices for hot and cold, covering 6,000 m². To keep energy consumption down to 57kWh per m² per annum (lighting, hot water, heating, cooling, etc.), a range of devices has been installed: 75 heat meters, 120 electricity meters, 400 presence detectors and 30 plumbing meters.
Rainwater is captured in two basins for outside watering, with everything being linked to the building management system (BMS) and to an energy portal developed in-house to store measurements and create usage alerts. These data will be analysed in real time by teams from the services hub of SPIE lle-de-France Nord-Ouest, which is responsible for the operation of the building. Furthermore, 30% of parking spaces can in time be fitted with electric charging stations and a minimum of 50% of the roof area will be green.
A new open and collaborative workspace
From the outset, EUROPA has been conceived as an open, collaborative space, where the watchwords are communication, synergy and transparency. The workspaces, as well as the social areas, have been designed to maximise ease of use and to encourage discussion and collaboration.
80% of the building consists of open-plan offices. All work areas have been designed to be more collaborative, less partitioned and on a human scale. Individual and shared spaces make employees’ day-to-day work easier, through meeting and training rooms, pods for small groups and local photocopiers/supplies close to offices. A showcase for the expertise of SPIE, the building is fully integrated and equipped with new technology to promote information-sharing and mobility. Everything is also done to make things as comfortable and easy to use as possible for the occupants, thanks to automation and the ability to personalise features in a given area at a given time.
As for the social areas, in addition to the service points on every floor, employees can enjoy the ultra-modern 120 m2 "coffee hub" on the ground floor.
Unified communication: towards a revolution in use
The objective of unified communication, which is one of EUROPA’s innovative features, is to converge computing, telephony and all other communication tools, with the key being new applications for users. “This convergence between the PC, telephony and all other communication tools is at the centre of the EUROPA project”, emphasises Kawthare Sahmi, business engineer at SPIE Communications and the lead on this project. “Everything will be done from the same interface, whether in the office or on the move, in France or abroad. All you need is an internet connection.”
Thanks to these latest-generation unified communication tools, all employees will have a unique number from which they can connect to their PC, tablet or smartphone. At the same time, they will be able to check voice messages and emails from their unified mailbox. The interface will also allow them to send documents, exchange instant messages or take part in video-conferences.
It will also be possible to make digital meeting room reservations from PC, tablet or smartphone, or from digital screens installed in corridors. Comfort settings (lighting level, heating, projection equipment, etc.) are automated and adapted using sensors, with everything being connected to the building’s computer network. Finally, everyone has wifi access in the new EUROPA building, including visitors, who will have a secure internet connection both inside and on the terraces, as well as in the car parks.
An original web series to prepare for the move
To prepare for the move and support the change, SPIE has produced an original, comprehensive package called “EUROPA MOVE” to inform the 450 employees affected and to support the change. The package includes a time-lapse film of the construction of the building, a humorous web series entitled “Rules for Surviving in a Shared Space”, and many other audiovisual productions (features on the green technologies used by SPIE in the building, a site visit report, etc.), a dedicated interactive blog (quizzes, surveys, etc.), in-house events and activities (exhibition and vote on the choice of furniture, employees playing parts in the web series), publications and goodies. Finally, employees got a sneak preview of their new premises on 11 January during an open-door day ahead of the move on 18 January.
Web series “Rules for Surviving in a Shared Space”
- General https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNsOuyS4D0A
- Episode 1: Space https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KObe1KIUxI4&
- Episode 2: Noise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3sVGBo7fOk
- Episode 3: Living Together https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wr_2_5kfQH4
- Episode 4: Keeping Tidy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW2zqNTRHio
- Episode 5: Confidentiality https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jp8hVeQEiRk
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