France is 15 years behind Europe when it comes to green architecture and sustainable building, according to Françoise-Hélène Jourda, one of the country’s leading exponents on the subject. In an interview with Le Monde, she said France was behind in terms of regulations and ratification of techniques and materials. “It is, for example, very difficult to re-use rainwater.”
Currently in consultation with the government in conjunction with the Grenelle, she has just completed a botanical museum in Bordeaux with solar greenhouses, and is launching an office building project in Saint-Dénis, outside Paris, in December which will be the first zero carbon building in France.
The plants in the botanical garden are watered by 275 cubic meters of rainwater stored in buried tanks while 650 square meters of photovoltaic cells on the greenhouse roofs cover all energy requirements.
Jourda’s approach was a naturalistic and playful one, constructing “boxes” and huge connecting pebbles from wooden weatherboards and building frames to house the museum’s office quarters.