SCENEO: First WELL Certification in France

Thursday, May 18, 2017

SCENEO: First WELL Certification in France

Project Profile

We’re proud to announce that SCENEO, a 130,000 square-foot office building in Bezons, France, is the very first building in Continental Europe to be awarded WELL Certification at the Gold level.

SCENEO is managed by international property developer HRO, a firm committed to putting people at the heart of its designs. Project lead Virginie Scaglia sat down with us to discuss SCENEO’s journey toward WELL Certification.

Why did you decide to pursue WELL Certification for SCENEO? What were your objectives?

WELL was a natural fit for us. We wanted SCENEO to be at the forefront of cutting-edge building science and technology. Before we began our journey to WELL Certification, we were awarded three of the commercial real estate industry’s highest environmental certifications - including BBC (Low Consumption Building), "Exceptional" HQE (High Environmental Quality) and "Excellent" BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).

"WELL enabled us to take SCENEO to the next level by showcasing how our building optimizations contributed to both environmental and human sustainability.”

In short, our objectives for pursuing WELL Certification were to gain a competitive edge in Paris’s real estate market, highlight our leadership in the sustainability movement, and, most importantly, improve the health and well-being of tenants and employees.

At a glance

Preconditions achieved

Optimizations achieved

Certification level

How did your team approach the WELL Certification process, and work together to achieve your WELL goals?

The WELL Certification process required a significant team effort and, thankfully, we had the right people for the job. Our success was due to the inherent quality of the buildings to start with and also the work of commercial managers, technical managers and Gwenael JAN from G-ON, a WELL AP with several years of sustainable building design experience.

     

MIND

Feature 87: Beauty and Design

Intent: To thoughtfully create unique and culturally-rich spaces.

 

The building's interior design reflects the exterior surroundings. The colors and details of the furniture are reminiscent of the nearby promenade along the Seine.

What are the most innovative or stand-out aspects of your WELL project?

Our occupants benefit from an ideal working environment with bright, but controlled, lighting levels, acoustic attenuations, enhanced air quality, and layouts that encourage healthy and less sedentary working practices. We want to ensure that our tenants have the healthiest spaces possible to move throughout their workdays.

WELL also helped us recognize the added value in incorporating nature into our indoor spaces. One of our overall goals was to increase our tenants' connection to the outdoors, so we positioned dining facilities on the top floors of our building. What was once an ordinary eating space was transformed into an escape that offers breathtaking views of the Paris landscape.

MIND

Feature 88: Biophilia

Intent: To thoughtfully create unique and culturally-rich spaces.

The garden at SCENEO is inspired by the form and fiber of the locality. Boxwoods native to the region rotate seasonally. The geometric french-style garden evokes strong cultural elements and is designed to complement the light reflecting off the nearby buildings.

What challenges did you face as you were incorporating WELL features? How did you solve them?

We faced a few cultural and logistical obstacles that we were able to surmount with the help of the WELL team. Achieving a smoking ban in our building was a challenge within European culture. Also, though French food has extremely high quality ingredients, we weren’t accustomed to being as transparent with our packaging and menu items as WELL required. We worked with catering providers and discussed of the ways to push forward recipes and displays without disturbing user’s expectations.

Also, since this was our first WELL project, we had to convince key stakeholders of its importance and that we could complete the certification within a tight deadline. But, we did it and we’re very happy with the results.

LIGHT

Feature 61: Right to Light

Intent: To promote exposure to daylight and views of varying distances by limiting the distance workstations can be from a window or atrium.

The breathtaking views from workspaces and dining area offer unobstructed access to natural light and views of the city skyline and Seine river. Workstations and meeting rooms are situated to give occupants flexibility and access to natural light throughout their days.

What positive impacts resulted from your WELL Certification? What post-certification metrics can you share related to outcomes?

WELL Certification provides an excellent platform to communicate our commitment to providing a healthy environment for our occupants and upholding the highest standards in building design, construction and operations.

We’re also hopeful that WELL Certification will serve as a differentiator to help us lease space quickly in the competitive French market. We’re already receiving inquiries from tenants about WELL so it’s clear that consumer demand is strong. Overall, we’re delighted with the outcome and will certainly integrate WELL Certification for our future projects.

FITNESS

Feature 67: Exterior Active Design

Intent: To promote active lifestyles through the integration of active design elements into the building exterior.

 

Located steps away from the city tram, SCENEO’s location fosters strong neighborhood connectivity. SCENEO’s benches, plazas and gardens encourage frequent pedestrian activity.

Project Team

Gwenael Jan, WELL AP
Founder, G-ON Consulting

 

 

Thierry Lacroix
Founder, G-ON Consulting

 

 

Virginie Scaglia
Sustainable Development Certification, HRO France

 

 

Fouad Chafqi
Technical Manager, HRO France