Interview: Virginie Scaglia of HRO on SCENEO - the first WELL Gold certified building in Continental Europe

Date Published

29th Aug 2018

Suzanne Wallace
Media & Communications Manager, IES

The SCENEO project, a 130,000 square-foot office building in Bezons, France, is the first building in Continental Europe to achieve a WELL Building Standard Certification at Gold level.

IES Consulting provided daylight and thermal comfort analysis services to help meet WELL Building Standard credits 62 – Daylight Modelling, and 76 - Thermal Comfort.

Managed by international property developer HRO, we asked the project lead Virginie Scaglia to tell us more about the SCENEO project and the road to achieving WELL Certification…

Can you explain your approach for achieving WELL certification for the SCENEO project?

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).

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

Please describe the innovative design features which contributed to achieving WELL certification?

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 outdoor environment, 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.

How did IES support your pursuit of WELL certification?

Our consultant, Gwenael JAN of G-ON needed to implement IES software and consulting expertise to simulate the impact of the building on comfort and wellbeing, linked to WELL requirements. Thermal and Daylighting studies were made using IESVE software, for the SCENEO project.

Were there any features of IESVE that you found particularly useful to demonstrate compliance with the WELL Standard?

The analysis of daylight factor and melanopic ratio are easier on IESVE software, we could make a visual grid to see the illuminance of each space and decide if optimizations are necessary. Also, for thermal studies, the geometric model enables study of each space and identifies the impacts of facade, systems, etc. on thermal comfort.

As the developer and owner of the building, do you think that you had a better perspective to understand the requirements of the WELL standard?

Yes, because we are constantly looking for optimizations to ensure the comfort and well-being of the occupants of our buildings. We learn project after project the needs and expectations of users of our buildings. In large part, users demands meet WELL requirements.

What have you found to be the main benefits of achieving WELL for the SCENEO project?

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.

What advice would you give to other developers thinking of pursuing WELL certification?

We would advise other developers to seriously consider this certification as we firmly believe that putting the needs of the tenants first is the key to success.

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