Release of book “TERRES – Sols profonds du Grand Paris”, a work by the photographer Anne-Marie Filaire
In 2019, the photographer Anne-Marie Filaire explored six sites being operated by ECT. Today, ECT is very proud to announce the appearance of the book resulting from her investigations.
Every year, 22 million tonnes of soil are excavated for construction projects within the capital and as part of the expansion of the boundaries of Paris.
Our collective mental image when we hear the words “excavated soil” is the imposing appearance of the spoil heaps in former industrial areas of Nord-Pas-de-Calais, so we have an understanding of the potential visual impact and environmental issues. Here, however, we’re not dealing with black soil extracted from coal mines but with diverse and colourful soils from the lower levels of multiple public works in Greater Paris, and particularly those from railway tunnel operations for the new Grand Paris Express.
There are three challenges. Tracing, sorting and analysing all these soils as they move from one place to another; making fertile those which can be; and relocating them in consultation with communities and local authorities. They can become parks, woodland, sports fields, land for urban agriculture or zones for free development or biodiversity in the fields.
Anne-Marie Filaire chose to photograph the soil as it reaches the development sites, and she explored six sites currently in operation in Greater Paris. She shows the moments when the soil is tipped and spread out, and the landforms as they come into being under the eyes of the engineers. She provides an interpretative vision that places the sites firmly in the context of the wider landscape, navigating between the hundreds of trucks and site vehicles, returning several times to reflect life on the site on days of mud, fog or drought. It’s a valuable photographic work, committed to showing a landscape in transition, before it takes on its new form. It is, she says, “a study of the future”. Her photographs relate the intrinsic beauty of the sites and the beauty of their raw material, and reveal their shape.
Apart from purely technical challenges, the total amount of soil amassed is also, for an artist, an object of potential poetry, a place out of time, a temporary world which will fade away to leave place for a new landscape. From this point of view, it’s also an artists’ book; many connections with contemporary art, and especially Land Art, are apparent.
Anne-Marie Filaire is a photographer. She has been preoccupied with the question of landscape for more than twenty years, starting with several series taken in her native region of Auvergne on behalf of the Observatoire Photographique du Paysage programme. Since 1999, she has been engaged on a long-term project in the Middle East, Israel and West Africa to recount the factual reality of interminable wars and the very personal preoccupations of populations confronted by geopolitical upheavals. Her work is a poetic exploration of man face to face with his environment. In 2017, she exhibited and published a work on the demarcation zones (Zone de Sécurité Temporaire, Textuel/Mucem).
Claude Eveno is a film-maker, town planner and writer. He founded and directed the journal of the Cahiers du Centre de Création Industrielle (Notebooks of the Centre for Industrial Design) at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. He taught in the department of town planning at the Paris VIII university and at ENSNP, the École Nationale Supérieure de la Nature et du Paysage (university for nature and landscape engineering) at Blois. He has also been a programme adviser for France-Culture and director of studies at ENSCI, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (university of industrial design). He is the author of many works: recent publications from Christian Bourgois Publishing are Revoir Paris or ‘To see Paris again’ (2017) and L’Humeur Paysagère or ‘Reflections on Landscaping’ (2015).
A literary event reported by the press
“Town planning: Construction spoil makes fine soil for all purposes”, read the article, here.
Listen to the radio broadcast of Homo Urbanicus from 14 September 2020, Earth by Anne-Marie Filaire, here
“The deep soils of Greater Paris”: Read here
“Photo Terres”: Read here
In time for the autumn literary publishing season – ” La Terre dans tous ses États” (‘Earth in all its States’)
In 2019, a first conference was held about upcycling soil, seen through the lens of urban engineering
The EIVP (City of Paris School of Engineering), a leading university for urban engineering, and ECT, the French leader in the upcycling of excavated soil, organised the first conference in April 2019, “La Terre dans tous ses États” or “Earth in all its States.”
This conference gave rise to the idea of a collective publication to be published by Presses des Ponts. This work was put together under the direction of Bernard Landau, president of EIVP’s department for teaching and research into public space, planning and mobility, and Youssef Diab, EIVP’s director of science. It has a preface by Antoine Grumbach, winner of the Grand Prix de l’Urbanisme town planning award, and president of the scientific committee of the ECT/EIVP academic chair.
1001 ways to upcycle soil
Every year in the Paris region, nearly 10 million m3 of inert soil, the equivalent of four Great Pyramids of Giza, are produced by public and private works – a quantity that is an indicator of the sheer volume of public works currently happening in the Paris metropolitan area.
This work, arising from the conference “Earth in all its States”, reveals the thousand and one ways in which inert soil can be upcycled. It’s a golden opportunity to shine a light on the principles of ‘circular economy’ and ecological mitigation that are at the heart of these often unsung activities.
Soil is a very valuable resource
This publication explores a wide variety of solutions, ranging from remediation of polluted zones and backfilling of mines and quarries to the creation of planted parkland, the restoration of farmland, the transformation of soil into a construction material or topsoil, and the creation of works of art or works of urban engineering.
Re-greening the Bois de Vincennes using a fertile substrate: What the press say
ECT initiative boosts the upcycling of inert soil.
The business offers non-built developments to communities and local authorities, by using excavated soil. Since 2019, it has been producing a fertile substrate that is 100% recycled, called Urbafertil.
Produced purely by recycling, Urbafertil is the result of mixing inert soil with compost from green waste. It’s a very topical illustration of ‘circular economics’ for soil from the construction & public works sector, putting it to work to re-green urban spaces. There are well-attested benefits for:
- The climate,
- The creation of islands of freshness,
- Soil permeability, enabling it to absorb rainwater
- And for biodiversity.
This ‘technosol’ offers an alternative approach to importing topsoil, being both ecological and economical.
In the Bois de Vincennes, the city of Paris has applied this Urbafertil approach to the Esplanade Saint-Louis, creating a technosol that meets a complex technical specification.
The media came to see the on-site fabrication process.
“Fertile technosol for the esplanade of the Château de Vincennes”: Read here
“Greening the surroundings of the Château de Vincennes with inert soil”: Read here
“A right royal site for Urbafertil“: Read here
“A fertile substrate created from inert materials”: Read here
“A responsible solution for greening the city”: Read here
To find out more about Urbafertil, click here
Nature in the city: The Arboretum Park at Moissy-Cramayel
To coincide with European Sustainable Development Week, ECT returns to the Arboretum Park at Moissy-Cramayel in the département of Seine-et-Marne. The Park was opened to the public a year ago. This landscaped area, which was entirely developed by ECT using excavated soil from nearby sites of the construction & public works sector, offers both natural space and places for sports activities and relaxation.
A video looks at the development concepts that came into play, and local biodiversity needs on a site where ECT has planted more than 11,000 trees.
Media focus on ECT’s centre for the biological treatment of soil polluted with hydrocarbons
ECT’s centre for the biological treatment of soil contaminated with hydrocarbons opened 3 years ago at La Courneuve. The first and only indoor facility of this type in France, the centre can now treat 180,000 tonnes of contaminated soil per year. It often attracts the attention of the media and experts. Here’s an overview of recent visits.
July 2020: Construction Cayola
August 2020 : Convergence: symposium of iXi experts
Experts from iXi came to the ECT treatment centre to better understand the treatment and re-use of contaminated soil. Guillaume Paradis of ECT replies to questions from Pierre Lebrun of CPA-Expert. This report comes from the Convergence symposium organised by the iXi network.
and in January 2020: France Inter
We never get tired of listening to the dynamic radio journalism of Juliette Prouteau, who devoted an episode of La Terre au Carré to the soil of Greater Paris at the ECT soil treatment centre
The series of reports is available in podcast form, here
At Epône, in the département of Yvelines, ECT completes a stadium for mountain biking and trials riding in 4 months
A stadium for mountain biking and trials riding, the only facility of this type in the Île-de-France region, completed in 3 months between June and October 2020
On 15 June last year, ECT announced the opening of a new site to upcycle inert soil excavated in the département of Yvelines and the commune of Epône.
That was how this project, supported by the town hall, began, and so commenced, on land belonging to the commune, ECT’s development of the first site for trial riding and mountain biking in the Île-de-France region.
Three months later, we could look back on a project where the works were being finalised to offer Epône and its cycling club ORC Epône this stadium for training and competition – the only such place in the Île-de-France. The ORC club will now have 1000 m² of installations for training and preparing for future inter-regional competitions.
4 key stages in the works carried out by ECT
The work got under way during the summer, in several stages:
- The provision of inert soil from sites of the construction & public works sector of western Paris
Starting from the month of June, the provision of soil made it possible to extend the area and remodel its surface to be the site for various workout installations for trial riding and training tracks for mountain biking.
- Laying the fertile substrate
The fertile substrate manufactured on site by ECT is a growing medium that makes it possible to avoid importing topsoil. This substrate is a fertile mix of inert soil and compost made from green waste. It will be the growing medium for trees on the sloping parts of the site.
- Finishing the landforms and creating the stadium
The expertise of ECT’s bulldozer drivers made it possible to create the landforms of the site with great skill and precision, and in particular the shapes of the banked bends.
- Installing the workout facilities
Currently, the workout installations are being placed in accordance with a specific technical brief from the ORC Club. The area of nearly 5 acres has 150 m² of rock garden, 300 m² of trials zone and 600 m² of pump-track.
LA GAZETTE EN YVELINES
LE COURRIER DE MANTES
The Arboretum Park – a park accessible to people with all kinds of disability
A park open to all – families, sportspeople and people with disabilities.
The Arboretum Park at Moissy-Cramayel, in the département of Seine-et-Marne, was developed over a period of eighteen months by ECT using excavated soil from nearby sites of the construction & public works sector.
To determine how best to meet local needs, this park was a true eco-design project between ECT and the town of Moissy-Cramayel. The town council was keen to make the park accessible to all residents, including those with all kinds of disabilities.
That’s why there was a process of reflection and consultation, jointly undertaken by all those involved, for every kind of disability. That’s how the park became a great shared area for outings, accessible to all and proudly aiming to get the ‘Tourisme et Handicap’ label.
That means providing facilities suitable for this section of the public. Half of the routes are accessible to all, and they make it possible to visit the whole park. The signage, and the access to signage, have been developed specifically with this in mind.
A video looks at the way this community need was reflected in the design.
ECT and Akuo officially opened one of the two largest solar power stations in the Île-de-France region
Opening of the solar park at Annet-sur-Marne on 29 September 2020
14 November 2019 saw the official installation of the first solar panel of the solar park, and ten months later, ECT and Akuo inaugurated the “Les Gabots” photovoltaic power station, located in the commune of Annet-sur-Marne.
One of the largest solar parks in the Île-de-France region
The solar park, consisting of 44,000 photovoltaic panels, covers 45 acres. It will save 847 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Its output will meet the electricity needs of 3,700 homes, or about 10,000 inhabitants. It makes the commune of Annet-sur-Marne (with 3,300 inhabitants) a net producer of electricity.
Giving a second life to derelict land
The power station is the fruit of a partnership between Akuo and ECT through their jointly-owned subsidiary ACT-E. The solar panels are installed on landforms made up of inert soil, which makes it possible to optimise the angle of their slopes, thus giving the site a second life. Akuo and ECT intend to repeat the “Les Gabots” project on other sites in the Île-de-France region. The goal is to expand, in particular the production of solar energy, and achieve a peak output of 100 MW from the sites operated by ACT-E.
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched and is open to all citizens
Apart from participatory investment by regional authorities, Akuo and ECT have decided to give all citizens the opportunity to benefit from the profitability of the “Les Gabots” solar park by letting them invest in the refinancing of the project via a participatory loan on the AkuoCoop digital platform. More than €500,000 has been collected in less than 30 days.
This is intended to promote investment by individuals in ‘energy transition’ with a connection to the regions directly involved. Since it was set up, the platform has made it possible to collect more than €7M in just 4 years, to finance 13 solar power stations for the production of green energy.
Jean-Philippe Dugoin-Clément, Vice-President of the Île-de-France Region: “This ambitious development is part of the expansion of our Region into the domain of renewable energy. It’s an iconic project made possible by investment from the Region via Île-de-France Energies with a stake of €450,000. The bottom line is that this is our solar plan in physical form”.
Stéphanie Auzias, mayor of Annet-sur-Marne: “Annet was keen to be part of the process of ‘energy transition’ that is so urgently needed […]. Annet now has one of the most substantial solar parks in the Île-de-France region, and its maintenance costs are offset by grazing animals on the site. We’re participating in sustainable development”. Christian Marchandeau, former mayor and now deputy mayor of Annet-sur-Marne, concludes: “This solar park is our commune’s greatest asset.”
Eric Scotto, chairman and co-founder of Akuo: “This power station, born from our partnership with ECT, is a source of pride for the Akuo group because it’s our first photovoltaic power station in the Île-de-France region, and to date it’s one of the largest there. The quality of its visual insertion into the landscape is exceptional. It makes us fully part of the dynamic of the mobilisation plan for the ecological transformation of the Île-de-France region being driven by the Region’s president, Valérie Pécresse. We firmly believe that the development of photovoltaics in the Île-de-France region will expand significantly in the coming years, especially on land which is derelict or not in a natural state”.
Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT: “ECT’s development model is to identify land needing to be enhanced and to devise projects for open-space developments involving the upcycling of excavated soil from sites of the construction & public works sector in the Île-de-France region, and doing so in full consultation with local representatives. We felt it was important to broaden the range of our services to communities and local authorities by adding solutions for renewable energy. Bearing in mind our skills in creating and shaping soil to give them a suitable slope, we were naturally attracted by solar energy. ECT is very proud of this first joint operation with Akuo, which has resulted in this powerful solar park at Annet-sur-Marne”.
[Press release] Akuo and ECT declare the ‘Les Gabots’ solar park open
On 29 September 2020, Akuo and ECT officially opened the “Les Gabots” solar park at Annet-sur-Marne (Seine-et-Marne)
This power station, with its 44,000 solar panels, covers 45 acres of former ECT landfill, making it one of the two largest renewable solar energy sites in the Île-de-France region. Its output equates to the energy needs of 3,700 homes, making Annet-sur-Marne a net producer of green energy.
See what the press had to say by clicking here.
CREATING THE FIRST FACILITY IN THE ÎLE-DE-FRANCE REGION FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING AND TRIALS RIDING, WITH THE ORC CLUB
In the commune of Epône (78) ECT has worked with the bike club ORC Epône to create the first sports facility in the Île-de-France region for mountain biking and trials riding.
The club has more than 70 members. It does various forms of the sport (cross-country mountain biking, trials riding, cyclo-cross and adult sport touring). The ORC is designated as a bike school and competition club by the national governing body, the FFC or Fédération Française de Cyclisme.
4 questions for ORC Epône, for its president Franck Prestat and vice-president Philippe Gaudens.
Can you tell us about the various branches of mountain biking and trials riding?
Trials riding is done with a specific bike (with no saddle). It’s a spectacular sport, which requires flexibility, agility and balance to get round an obstacle course without putting a foot on the ground.
The mountain bike, which is much more common, is a bicycle for use on rough ground, off metalled roads.
What makes ECT’s involvement interesting for the ORC?
ECT’s involvement is what makes the project possible. Bringing inert soil to the site is financing the new developments. It means that the club will become the first in the Île-de-France region to have a terrain specifically for sport on two wheels – mountain biking and trials riding. It will also be the ideal location for hosting competitions.
How does the design of the new site work with bringing in soil from outside?
It’s bringing in inert soil that provides the opportunity to transform flat terrain into a very varied terrain almost like a stadium. It will make it possible for us to use the entire area of the terrain, and make the technical sections better spread out, more varied and more numerous. The height of the terrain lets us offer climbs and descents, and gives us more options in terms of the creation of technical sections.
What do you want the club to get from this new project?
The project aims to meet the needs of our two branches of cycle sport. Trials riding experts are always looking for new technical zones with obstacles, to add variety to their training, gain experience and improve their performance in competitions.
The total redevelopment of the site will let us completely rethink the zones so as to achieve better, more progressive technical levels. They will also delight our riders with new routes, whether using existing obstacles or new ones.
For mountain biking, we used to have to go elsewhere to find terrain with good training qualities.
Thanks to this project, we will have a wide range of technical sections for all levels right here on this site.
That means we’ll become more efficient in training our youngest members, as it will limit the travel distance to technical sections and at the same time increase safety (no roads to cross, etc.).
And aside from our youngest members, having a selection of benchmark technical sections means we’ll be able to assess riders as they progress through the various levels, and make up our groups accordingly – and prepare our competitors for the level of technical achievement that is expected.
Our adult mountain bikers will also be able to perfect their technique on a terrain that sets the standard.
OPENING OF A NEW SITE WHICH WILL RESTORE DEGRADED FARMLAND
A site to be rehabilitated
At Roissy-en-Brie in the département of Seine-et-Marne (77), ECT is opening a new site on 27 July. The re-use of excavated soil will restore and conserve degraded farmland. Before starting, ECT cleaned up the site, removing waste that had been tipped there. The purpose of this development is to restore the land’s vitality. It will create an area of farmland, and areas devoted to biodiversity.
Conserving and improving an area of farmland
It’s about restoring agricultural holdings for their original purpose. This means restoring the productivity of the soil. The process of rehabilitation thus requires appropriate grading to create fertile soil, for a new agricultural area extending over 37 acres. When our involvement is over, the farmer will be able to resume operations on this land, and its agricultural role will have been secured for the future.
Recreating ecological continuity
The development recreates ‘ecological coherence’. It supports and is consistent with the living past and present of the commune. The goal is to ensure the future of natural habitats, with:
- Conservation of existing natural environments (wetlands, small lakes, watercourses and neighbouring woods).
- The reconstitution of a mosaic of environments, restoring ecological corridors and biodiversity in this district.
The project in figures
- Launch date for the project: July 2020
- Period of works: 2 years
- Restoring 37 acres and returning it to agriculture
- Creating ecological developments of grassland and wetland over 8 acres
- Planting 11 acres of wooded slopes.
NEW ECT SITE IN THE SEINE-ET-MARNE DÉPARTEMENT, AT ROISSY-EN-BRIE (77)
On 27 July 2020, ECT opened a new site at Roissy-en-Brie in the département of Seine-et-Marne (77).
Bringing soil to this site will restore the productivity of an agricultural holding.
The works will last for 2 years.
For access to the Roissy-en-Brie site, prior approval is needed from the ECT’s Reservations department.
The site is equipped with scanners to read ECT’s electronic delivery tickets, as part of our contactless initiative for fully paperless working.
For all information about the terms for discharging soil (address, soils accepted, opening hours, truck types) click here.
UNEV: DURING THE HEALTH CRISIS, MEMBERS OF UNEV HAVE ALL BEEN MOBILISED
ECT is a member of UNEV (the national union of upcycling operators or Union Nationale des Exploitants de la Valorisation). In this video, UNEV’s president Albert Zamuner puts the spotlight on the sectors represented by UNEV.
He describes the work of its members, who have been very active during the health crisis to ensure that the construction & public works sector and local authorities could keep going.
[IN THE NEWS] “Covid-19: A good time to reflect on strategy”
Laurent Mogno, chairman of the ECT Group, spoke to Franck Boittiaux of ConstructionCayola.com
This discussion was an opportunity for the ECT chairman to give an initial financial assessment of lockdown and social distancing measures, and to explain the business’s approach to paperless and online communications with its customers in the construction & public works sector.
What are the consequences, especially in financial terms, of the health crisis and lockdown on the activities of your business, and the way you relate to your customers ?
“The consequences have been significant. We shut down all our sites from 17 and 18 March, while we set up new working procedures so as to safeguard the health of our and our customers’ workforces. We took about a week to re-open three sites, from 24 March, well spread across the Île-de-France in the 77, 91 and 95 départements. These sites seem well suited to ‘no contact’ working, and have adequate reception capacity, given that the ECT model consists of receiving soil excavated by construction and public works operators and offering solutions within a short travel distance.”
What steps did you have to take during lockdown ?
“Wherever possible, we shifted workers to teleworking, and set up strict procedures for the operational sites, with absolute ‘no contact’ working, in other words without using paper vouchers, without contact between members of our workforce or with customers, and with no shared equipment, whether that’s a computer keyboard or a bulldozer ! ”
How long do you think it will be before you can get back to a normal level of working, or even to get back to the 2019 level ?
“Probably not before September, and we will continue to monitor the situation thereafter because of the effects of Covid-19 and the municipal elections, so that we don’t experience a drop-off in 2021 arising from a lack of construction works, given that the various sectors involved are focussing very much on events unfolding today, and in particular on additional costs and the drop in productivity. Negotiations between the project supervisors and the construction and public works businesses on these subjects are complex and continually updated. As far as we are concerned, we have decided to absorb the costs arising from the new procedures.”
How has this period been for you? Has it given you an opportunity to think about possible reorganisations? Or changes to working methods ?
“It has been an opportunity to accelerate the process of going fully paperless, which was already at an advanced stage. We’re finalising our IT solution, which will be operational at the beginning of June and which will have an effect on productivity. It has also been a good time for reassessing the strategy of the business, especially in terms of the environment and biodiversity, because on 22 May the European Union published a roadmap which, in particular, promotes urban nature via the creation of plans for an ecological approach to urban and near-urban spaces in communes with more than 20,000 inhabitants, by the end of 2021. It’s a very interesting development for us, because its goal is the landscaping of spaces like those we make. Mankind needs nature in the city !”
See the full article by clicking here
START OF A NEW SITE IN THE DÉPARTEMENT OF YVELINES. THE FIRST CENTRE FOR MOUNTAIN BIKE AND TRIALS RIDING IN THE ÎLE-DE-FRANCE REGION
Developing the first site for mountain bike and trials riding in the Île-de-France region
ECT opened the new site, in the Yvelines département and more specifically in the commune of Epône, on 15 June. The site upcycles inert soils from construction works in the west of the Île-de-France region, and it will include the first mountain bike and trials riding venue in the Île-de-France.
A quick introduction to the two sports :
- ‘Trials riding’ is done with a special bike that makes it possible to tackle a series of different obstacles without setting foot on the ground.
- Mountain biking, which is better known, consists of learning to handle a bicycle on rough ground from an early age.
A sports development in the Yvelines département
This stadium project has been “eco-designed” in conjunction with the club ‘Off Road Cycliste d’Epône’ (ORC Epône) and the Epône town council. The aim was to reconfigure the sports facility to provide the club with new technical zones and obstacles so as to give more variety to their training, increase their experience and enhance their performance in competitions.
Reshaping the site involves providing soil, making it possible to extend the mountain bike and trials riding area by nearly 5 acres. The development is fully financed by upcycling the soil.
The project will create a number of different zones. There will be technical zones with workout installations, ‘pump track’ and rock garden zones, and tracks with moguls and bends.
The project in figures
- Project start date: June 2020
- Duration of works: 4 months
- 4.7 acres of training and competition terrain
- 150 m² of rock garden, 300 m² of trials zone, and 2 pump track zones of 300 m²
New ECT site at Epône in the département of Yvelines (78)
ECT starts work at a new site at Epône, in the département of Yvelines.
The purpose of this site is to create the first mountain biking and trials riding centre in the Île-de-France region. It will be developed by upcycling soil excavated during construction works in the west of the Île-de-France region. The works are expected to last four months.
All access to the Epône site must be pre-booked with ECT’s Reservations department.
The site will also be equipped to scan e-tickets for soil deliveries, as part of our ‘Full Dématérialisation’ (Fully Paperless) initiative.
For all information about the conditions for access to the site (location, types of soil accepted, opening times, truck types), click here
[IN THE NEWS] International journal “Ecological Engineering”
The international journal “Ecological Engineering” has just published a very interesting article.
The article is entitled: “Tree growth and macrofauna colonization in technosols constructed from recycled urban wastes”. It is co-authored by Charlotte Pruvost and Thomas Lerch (at the Institut d’Ecologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement de Paris, Sorbonne University, CNRS, UPEC, Paris 7, INRA, IRD).
The subject of the article is how to use technosols to provide sustainable alternatives to the large-scale importation of topsoil, in view of the increasing need to ‘green’ the cities. It is a research topic already explored by Charlotte Pruvost in a CIFRE thesis supervised by Thomas Lerch and funded by ECT.
To see the full article, click here.
Opening of a new site in the département of Essonne; a future equestrian centre
Developing a riding centre by upcycling inert soil
On 8 June ECT began a new site in the commune of Chevannes, which is in the département of Essonne. The purpose of this site is to re-use inert soils from the construction sites of the south-west of the Île-de-France region to create a horse-riding centre.
This equestrian project has been “eco-designed” in conjunction with the equestrian committee of the Essonne and the council of Chevannes. The objective was to define in advance the areas to be developed for horses and riding, and to set out how the site should be managed for the environment and biodiversity.
The goal is to create a full-featured, eco-friendly equestrian centre
This sports centre will cater for all equestrian disciplines. Bringing in soil makes it possible to create terraces on several levels. The terraces will provide a place for dressage arenas, and their flanks will be used for cross-country. The development is fully financed by upcycling the soil.
ECT is taking the opportunity of reshaping the site to promote the development of biodiversity. The various zones form part of a landscaping development of green space and wooded slopes.
A number of different zones are included in the project. There are to be a manège or horse schooling area, stables, a clubhouse, and a car park with 100 spaces.
The project in figures
- Project start date: June 2020
- Duration of works: 2 years
- 27 acres of land reclaimed as an equestrian centre
New ECT site at Chevannes in the département of Essonne (91)
ECT today opened a new site, at Chevannes in the Essonne (91).
The purpose of the site is to create a centre for horse-riding by upcycling soil excavated in construction works in the south of the Île-de-France. The works are expected to last two years.
All access to the Chevannes site must be pre-booked with ECT’s Reservations department. The site will also be equipped to scan e-tickets for soil deliveries, as part of our ‘Full Dématérialisation’ (Fully Paperless) initiative.
For all information about the conditions for access to the site (location, types of soil accepted, opening times, truck types), click here
INNOVATION IN CONSTRUCTION & PUBLIC WORKS: ECT DELIVERY TICKETS GO PAPERLESS
Traceability of soil, efficient unloading, compliance with COVID-19 hygiene rules
On 4 June, ECT launched its fully paperless system for soil delivery tickets. That means ECT is now paperless for the whole process of issuing, delivering and checking tickets. And from this week, 100% of ECT sites will be equipped to scan their QR codes. The site entry ticket is an important link in the chain of traceability for the soil and materials received on our sites.
This project for e-tickets began some months ago as part of the business’s environmental initiative, and the health crisis gave it added impetus. The implementation of ‘no contact’ facilitates collections from the sites of customers in the construction & public works sector. They also help with efficient traffic flow at the sites where we upcycle the soil.
This has a three-part objective for our customers :
- Shorter times when a driver arrives.
- Better traceability of materials.
- Better compliance with social distancing and other protective measures.
The technology is integrated with the customer service provided by ECT
Designed with our tech partner CKdev, this responsible approach is fully integrated into the customer experience so as to optimise pre-booked access to our sites.
There are 4 key steps :
- Creation by ECT of e-tickets when entry is booked.
- The e-tickets are sent out by email
- The e-tickets are completed by the customer, with the driver or haulier.
- The QR code for each e-ticket is scanned on arrival at the ECT site.
The issue, transfer and approval of e-tickets can be viewed in real time in ECT’s online client area.
Fertile substrate created on-site in the Bois de Vincennes, Paris
A responsible solution for greening the city
The on-site production of a fertile substrate or growing medium is an environmentally-friendly solution, making it possible to extend “nature in the city”, a major environmental factor for the cities of tomorrow. This growing medium is a local and sustainable alternative to importing of topsoil, which is a natural resource that should be left intact.
For 10 days, ECT has been creating a fertile substrate on site. This growing medium, which is essential for restoring vegetation to the Esplanade Saint-Louis, is an application of ‘circular economics’; the fertile substrate comes from recycling inert soil together with composted plant/vegetable waste.
A recycling plant on a landmark site
The purpose of the works is to landscape the traffic junction next to the Château. The requirement was to produce a recycled growing medium to re-green the Esplanade to a particular contractual specification, because the grassed area will be for public use for open-air events.
On-site creation of a fertile ‘technosol’ is one of a line of experiments already carried out in conjunction with the City of Paris. These experiments have been carried out within the Bois de Vincennes, in the context of a call for proposals by Paris Région Lab.
« The concept of fertility is integral to ECT’s business. We use a high-grade material in the form of inert soils from the construction & public works sector, to recreate fertile soils and to offer communities and local authorities a base for planting that is environmentally friendly, recycled and locally produced. And without falling back on topsoil stripped from the land hundreds of miles away. » Laurent Mogno, président d’ECT.
The fertile substrate for reconstructing soil, and its agro-ecological qualities
2,800 cubic metres of fertile substrate have already been produced in this way. The process for making this substrate can be modified to meet a particular contractual specification. A range of soils and aggregates can be used. These materials are levelled out on site, before being covered with a layer of vegetable compost. Once this “layer cake” has been created, the substrate is given a full-thickness blending to produce a consistent texture. The growing medium is now ready to be planted by a landscaping business.
The ‘circular economics’ of soil excavated for “Vert en Ville” or greening the city
This site represents another advance in the deployment of a ‘circular economy’ of excavated soil at the service of communities and local authorities. A circular economy involves maximum recycling with the minimum addition of raw materials, water and energy, as opposed to the extraction-manufacture-consumption-disposal model of linear economics. The re-use of inert soils represents a striking opportunity for the creation of natural, agricultural and leisure spaces. It’s an important issue, given that 63% of town-dwellers in France say they would like to see more green spaces created in their neighbourhood (study carried out for ECT by IFOP in February 2020).
The production of a fertile substrate that’s suitable for planting in an urban environment has been the subject of several years of R&D by ECT, culminating in 2019 with the creation of Urbafertil, a branded substrate with a composition that varies for each project but always meets the French standard NF U 44-551 (growing media).
ECT sponsors a garden at the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire
The Festival International des Jardins in the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire opened its doors last Saturday. This opening took place in circumstances greatly impacted by the health crisis of COVID-19. That’s why ECT is particularly proud of having supported the creation of one of its gardens, “Jardiniers de l’Invisible” or gardeners of the invisible.
In the words of its designers, who are students at the ENSP national landscaping school at Versailles (the École Nationale Supérieure de Paysage), this garden puts a question to the visitor: “How can we restore lost links with our earth, the remarkable original model of living together, sharing and symbiosis?” ECT also co-funds a business chair, “Earth and Landscape”, at the ENSP.
For 6 months, this festival is the don’t-miss international garden venue. Visitors explore a world dedicated to creativity, imagination, poesy and nature, which has been acknowledged as such since 1992 by professionals and by garden lovers. Every year the festival welcomes landscape gardeners and designers from all over the world.
ECT supporting the re-start of the construction & public works sector
The re-opening of construction and public works sites is under way, with an increasing number of sites, including several Grand Paris Express (GPE) lines, now back at work.
After a break for several days to put in place the necessary changes to crews and procedures for the fight against COVID-19, ECT reopened several of its sites from 25 March, to deal with residual activity in the construction & public works sector, and then to work with the sector as it restarts.
At the end of April, five sites were receiving loads from our customers and we were ready to open others to keep pace with the increasing demand from the sector. One week later, at the beginning of May, 8 ECT sites are now open, and can be accessed under the system for optimising and pre-booking delivery slots that was put in place at the end of 2019.
These open sites provide complete coverage for the Île-de-France region.
Well done to all teams for making this happen !
Covid-19 – three ECT sites open
Three ECT sites are open to receive soil and materials from our customers. These are the sites at Chelles (77), Forges-les-Bains (91) and Cormeilles-en-Parisis (95). To achieve this, ECT has put in place appropriate procedures to cope with the health risks linked to Covid-19, to ensure for both our workforce and our customers the necessary conditions for restarting work at its sites.
Access to these three sites must be pre-booked via ECT’s sales and service department.
In the context of this re-opening, ECT remains vigilant in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic, which calls for the greatest care. Our goal is to protect all staff, both those of ECT and those of our customers. And to guarantee the most effective implementation of traceability for the soil that we re-use.
At a time when the functioning of the country has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are conscious that the entire construction & public works sector is calling for sites to be re-opened, provided that safe working is possible on site and that there is somewhere to send the excavated soil.
To date, our three open sites provide geographic and quantitative cover for the slots that have been pre-booked by our customers. We are entirely at their disposal to assess and respond to their needs in the coming days and weeks.
[In The News] Le Moniteur – A new look at the management of excavated soil
Le Moniteur – March 2020 – Special issue: ‘Circular Economy’ initiatives
Excavated Soils: A new look at waste – an article by Laurent Miguet
In the département of Seine-et-Marne, the re-use of 13 million cubic metres of material has turned ‘spoil’ into a wooded park. In 2014 the old gravel pit of Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin became an ECT site for depositing inert waste. From 2024, the site will host “The Eyes of the Sky”, a gigantic artwork by the architect Antoine Grumbach, created out of excavated soil. These two eyes, each 400 yards long and 170 yards wide, will be visible to travellers landing at the Roissy- Charles-de-Gaulle airport.
“Our project is located near the Mesnil-Amelot railway station, terminus of the future Line 17 of the Grand Paris Express, and it has every advantage to make it a destination in its own right. It ticks all the boxes in our work of developing non-built environment”, says Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT
“Soil is not part of the circular economy for its market value. We’re advocates for its re-use, both societal and symbolic”, explains Antoine Grumbach.
The French law on ‘circular economy’ provides for the balance that ECT advocates, by encouraging communities and local authorities to take up opportunities for land-use development projects, without losing the benefits of traceability arising from the legal status of excavated soil as ‘waste’.
Information about ECT site closures for COVID-19
With effect from the evening of 18 March 2020, all ECT sites are closed.
Faced with an extremely concerning health situation, ECT has taken the decision to totally suspend all deliveries to ECT sites. This decision applies from the evening of 18 March 2020 until further notice.
The purpose of this step is to protect our workforce and those of our customers.
We will keep our customers informed as the situation develops, by email, on our website at www.groupe-ect.com, and in your online client area. In case of urgent need, contact us on 01.60.54.57.40.
We hope to see you again on our sites in the very near future. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and your families.
“Greening the City”: a new urban challenge
A study carried out by IFOP for ECT on the expectations of town-dwellers relating to “vert en ville” or greening the city
With the municipal elections coming up, ECT, developer of sustainable projects using soil from construction and public works sites, unveils the results of a survey* carried out by IFOP on town-dwellers and “greening the city”. Involving more than 2000 urbanites, the study shows the strong attachment of town-dwellers to green spaces and to their benefits. Most French people who spend time in the green spaces are happy with them. However, the 18-35 generation of Millennials stands out. They have much greater expectations about the use of green spaces. With the approach of the municipal elections, this is a political issue because 72% of people in the survey said that the question of “greening the city” would play a major or decisive role in the polling booth.
« Townspeople have real expectations, in terms of the creation and development of green spaces, but also in terms of facilities and services. Urban farms, linear parks and green corridors, land art, sports installations, and so on. It is vital to tackle this fundamental issue for the well-being of residents », emphasizes Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT.
IFOP’s analysis is that « the study shows that ‘Millennials’ have a generational aspiration towards there being more green spaces in cities, and more facilities for the things that interest them. A significant gap has opened up between them and the Baby-boomer generation, who are satisfied with green spaces and equipment in their current state. »
Overall satisfaction, but higher expectations on the part of the 18-35s
- 74% of French town-dwellers are satisfied with the number of squares, parks, gardens and green spaces in their commune.
The average amongst the 18-35s: 63%
- 66% of those surveyed would go there more often if the number of such spaces increased.
The average amongst the 18-35s: 73%
- 60% of those surveyed would go more often to the green spaces in their town if there were more facilities (sports, games, relaxation spaces, etc)
The average for the 18-35s: 75%
- 59% of those surveyed would go more often to the green spaces in their commune if there were more activities (gardening, sports courses, workshops, etc)
The average for the 18-35s: 72%
Half of city-dwellers consider that there are enough :
- Children’s play areas (50%)
- Parks and gardens (49%),
- Outdoor sports installations (45%),
- Woods and natural spaces for flora and fauna (45%)
But the 18-35s stand out and express frustration:
- Only 43% are satisfied with the quantity of parkland, gardens and green spaces in their communes – 6 points less than the national average
- As regards sports in town, 37% are satisfied – 8 points less than the national average
- And for areas dedicated to the conservation of flora and fauna, 39% are satisfied – 6 points below the national average
A close link, and recognition of the benefits of “greening the city”
All the French believe in the benefits of green spaces :
- On the personal level: 92% believe that green spaces in the city improve morale.
- As a social bonding factor: 82% think that “greening the city” contributes to reinforcing the social bonds between residents.
- As a direct contribution towards the environment: 92% see them as islands of freshness in city centres. 91% see them as a factor in improving air quality. And 89% see an opportunity to create places for biodiversity.
Places at the heart of their everyday life for 7 town-dwellers out of 10
Green spaces thus constitute part of everyday life for town-dwellers. 7 out of 10 say they spend time in a park, square or public garden in their commune at least once a month; at least once a week for 34%, and every day for 4%. Only 29% of city dwellers say that they never spend time in green spaces.
This close and very strong link between the French and green spaces can be explained in terms of the geographical distribution of green spaces:
- 36% of town-dwellers said they live less than 5 minutes on foot from a square, park or public garden,
- 34% between 5 & 10 minutes away on foot, 19% between 11 and 20 minutes away
- and 11% more than 20 minutes away.
As regards leisure activities:
- 88% of town-dwellers who were asked said that they go for walks there
- 71% of people who were asked said that they did relaxation and leisure activities there (picnics, reading, sunbathing, etc).
- 64% of respondents go more for games and family activities
- 63% do a sports activity in the open air.
- 46% of town-dwellers (which is almost one person in two) who were asked would do more gardening if the infrastructure was there to make this possible.
Methodology of the study
The survey was carried out with a sample of 2,005 town-dwellers who were representative of the adult population of urban communes in mainland France.
To ensure that the overall sample was representative, quotas were used for:
- Socio-demographic criteria: The gender of the individual; the age of the individual;
- Socio-occupational criteria: The individual’s profession;
- Geographic criteria: The region and size of the urban unit of the commune of residence.
These quotas were defined using INSEE data for the population aged 18 or above and living in mainland France (Enquête Emploi 2015).
The interviews were carried out with self-administered online questionnaires between 31 January and 3 February 2020.
A job with a story: site reception
Whatever their area of expertise or trade and whichever site they work on, the staff of the operations department of ECT contribute every day to “making landscape”.
Despite the rigours of the weather, they have to stay optimistic and persevering. And work together, in a team, to shape these earth hills and these projects.
Through portraits of these men and women, we let you discover what they do and what is important to them. In this edition, we put the spotlight on site reception personnel.
Site reception: A key stage in traceability?
Every year, ECT receives nearly 15 million tons of soil. The traceability of this soil is a major factor in the management and re-use of excavated soil. On every site, the soil is checked at the reception point.
The site reception officer carries out the first checks in situ:
- enregistrement des documents contenant des informations sur l’origine du chantierrecording of the documents that contain the information about the place of origin
- checking the admission documents
- checking the load on the truck
- communicating and checking safety instructions, traffic rules and tipping rules
Site reception officer: a line of work for women too.
On several sites, the reception points are staffed by women. This role calls for working fast, getting it right, and being firm.
You have to know how to manage the flow of trucks entering the site and keep waiting time to a minimum. And sometimes you need determination to turn away a load because of a problem with traceability or with the quality of the soil.
“Here, at this point, you need to have character, be disciplined and give your instructions with a smile”
“My role is to control the loading of the trucks, do data entry and manage safety.”
See their faces
When Gil Fornet took these portraits of ECT staff, he used his skills as a photographer to capture the diversity of our trades in images.
3 questions for Jonathan Bryden, director of the “New Products” department
3 questions for Jonathan Bryden, who joined ECT in September 2019. He is director of the “New Products, New Services” department. That puts him at the heart of the business’s innovative approaches and the monetising of ECT’s fertile substrate, Urbafertil.
What were the origins of Urbafertil?
The origins of Urbafertil go back a long way. The interactions between our land-use developments using inert soils and the fertilisation of the soil emerged very rapidly as one of the key issues in our work as developers.
From 2002, ECT was involved when some parts of the Park de la Corneuve were ‘greened’ with a mix of excavated soils and compost. The experiment was observed and funded by the Council of the département of Seine-Saint-Denis.
Building on that, from 2002 to 2013, ECT was associated with a scientific committee on fertile substrates which included representatives from ADEME, from the Conservatoire Botanique National, from INRA, from the UMR Biogéochimie et Ecologie des Milieux Continentaux, from the Université Paris Est and from the Bioemco laboratory.
The work of this scientific committee resulted in a 4-year phase of experimentation (2013 -2017). This experimentation took place on the ECT site at Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin (in Seine-et-Marne, 77).
It was observed scientifically by Charlotte Pruvost, a PhD student at the Institut d’Ecologie et des Sciences de l’Environnement in Paris. The title of her thesis was:
“The potential for biodiversity in the construction of technosols from urban waste“.
This thesis was presented in December 2018 before a jury consisting of members of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, senior lecturers from the University of Lorraine and professors from the universities of Rouen and Dijon.
In 2019, ECT set up a Research & Development department. Based on prior experimentation, one of the tasks of this department is the production and monetisation of a fertile substrate or growing medium. Production work is done in close co-operation with Biodepe, a subsidiary of ECT that specialises in organic waste and soil fertility. From December 2019, ECT was able to take this to a new level, by offering communities and local authorities its own brand of fertile substrate: Urbafertil
Why use Urbafertil as a growing medium?
Today, when a local authority is looking at projects to restore vegetation, the common practice is to import topsoil. These soils are stripped from fields located outside the towns and transported to the site where they’ll be used. However, there are solutions that are local, recycled and highly effective. That’s why it is important to think outside the box and favour bringing in local products.
It’s important to note that the traceability of topsoil is not always optimal. Urbafertil is partly made from inert soil from construction and public works sites located near the site to be ‘greened’. These inert soils have the advantage of compulsory traceability for excavated soils..
Urbafertil is produced purely by recycling, and comes from the combined re-use of inert soil and compost made from vegetable waste. Urbafertil is a successful example of ‘circular economy’, with very competitive prices compared to the price of topsoil.
A number of projects to create growing media using Urbafertil are under way in the Paris region.
What are the new products and new services that you are working on?
The whole ethos of ECT’s R&D department and the management of “new products and services” is to encourage a forward-looking and innovative approach. ECT has committed itself to this approach of innovation by creating partnerships with innovative businesses. The goal is to offer to communities and local authorities a range of new products and services to meet their need for estate management and development.
This has already resulted in the launch of the Urbafertil substrate, and also membership of Cycle Terre. This organisation aims to create a pathway for re-use of inert soil from the construction & public works sector, constructing new spaces from raw earth.
We are very aware of the environmental and societal impacts of the developments we carry out. And we are conscious of their potential, and their ability to have an extremely positive impact in the medium and long term. ECT is currently working on tools to make it possible to highlight the effectiveness of our solutions from the environmental perspective, and to demonstrate their advantages over other solutions.
The solar park at Annet-sur-Marne under construction
What’s happening at the Les Gabots site at Annet-sur-Marne?
The transformation goes on at ‘Les Gabots’ at Annet-sur-Marne, on the site planned as the location for a solar park. On a recent visit to the work site, ECT was impressed by the profound changes to the hills that will become one of the largest photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the Île-de-France region. Akuo is currently installing the solar panels. Activity is intense. Between now and summer 2020, more than 44,000 solar panels will be installed on the 45 acres of rolling landscape shaped by ECT.
Annet-sur-Marne, a renewable energy town
14 November last year was the day of the official fitting of the first solar panel for the PV power plant, in the presence of the mayor of Annet-sur-Marne, Christian Marchandeau, the vice-president of the Conseil Régional, Jean-Philippe Dugoin-Clément and of Eric Scotto, the chairman and founder of Akuo. All those present were delighted by the launch of this site for green, renewable energy.
With peak production of 17 MW from the solar park, the town of Annet will become a net producer of renewable energy
A partnership between the LPO and ECT to support the Little Owl
Respect for the environment and the conservation of biodiversity are at the heart of ECT’s values. That’s why we pay particular attention to the impacts of what we do. Even better, we are keen to work proactively in favour of biodiversity. This is underlined by the charter of commitment we’ve signed with the Humanité & Biodiversité organisation.
Now we need to turn this commitment to biodiversity into practical action. That’s why ECT is working with the LPO (the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux, which is the French RSPB or Audubon Society) within a partnership agreement.
The LPO is well known for its work to protect species. The purpose of the programme put together for the little owl (Athene noctua) in the Île-de-France region is to re-establish ecological continuity between the Val d’Oise and the north of Seine-et-Marne. And by so doing, to conserve the various populations of this bird in this region.
LPO is working with ECT to advice us on three of ours sites, which are situated within the study area for the little owl: Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin (77), Vémars (95) and Louvres (95). ECT’s part is to encourage it to establish itself there, and that means creating corridors.
On the Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin site, developments are already expected for this year. In particular, in the orchard zone, with the placing of nest-boxes for the little owl.
A France Inter report on ECT’s centre for biological treatment
This week, the France Inter series “La Terre au Carré” is broadcasting a series of reports by the journalist Juliette Prouteau. This documentary mini-series is about the soil excavated from Grand Paris Express work sites.
The report of 14 January focuses on polluted excavated soil. That’s why the journalist visited our centre for biological treatment of soil polluted by hydrocarbons, located at La Courneuve (93).
In the report, Jérôme Malherbe, the site manager, and Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT explain how the centre carries out biological treatment of these polluted soils.
It gives an overview of the work of the first French centre of this totally-enclosed type, in various stages :
- The soil is unloaded into specific bays for particular sites.
- The centre then sorts and analyses the soils to identify the type of pollution.
- The process of treatment can then start.
- The treatment process ceases when analyses show that the hydrocarbons have been substantially cleaned up
ECT presents its work to the local authorities of the Yvelines département
The local authority news publication “Magazine des Mairies et Intercommunalités des Yvelines” ran a special article about the UMY conference day in the 2019 edition. It was an opportunity for feedback from the various stakeholders and participants.
As part of the “Sustainable Development” workshop, ECT gave a presentation about its work as an environmentally aware developer of the non-built environment.
In this new interview, Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, talks again about the potential for re-use of inert soil, and ECT’s ability to offer to create, for communities and local authorities, sports and leisure spaces that are good for biodiversity.
To find the whole interview with Laurent Mogno, click here
Best wishes for 2020
In 2019, the men and women of ECT enhanced the lives of people living in the Île-de-France region.
Let’s work together to build the landscape of 2020. With more green spaces, sports grounds, places to walk, places for farming in town and in the fields … and happiness for all.
ECT wishes you an excellent 2020
ECT signs up to a charter to support biodiversity
ECT makes a commitment to biodiversity
Bernard Chevassus-au-Louis, chairman of the association “Humanité & Biodiversité”, and Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, formally signed a joint charter of commitment to biodiversity. This Charter is the result of a year of joint work with a shared objective – to work in partnership on the challenge of conserving the living world, participating in increasing knowledge, and affirmation by carrying out positive acts for biodiversity.
ECT and the “Humanité & Biodiversité” association: a meeting of minds that began in 2019
“Humanité & Biodiversité” is an association whose main purpose is to help everybody take into account the synergies and unbreakable links between mankind and biodiversity. The association works to conserve the diversity of the living world, and wants to see biodiversity considered in every sector of the economy. How? By systematically taking account of the interactions between the economic and social spheres and biodiversity.
That’s why ECT has joined this partnership with Humanité & Biodiversité, so as to incorporate biodiversity thinking into the way ECT works.
Bernard Chevassus-au-Louis, chairman of Humanité & Biodiversité: “In our view, the conservation and re-establishment of biodiversity require us to take human activities into consideration, so that everything we do contributes towards conserving our natural capital. Humanity is part of biodiversity. Humanity depends on it, profits from it and is responsible for it. It seems to us to be essential to recreate natural spaces where people live, so they can taste, smell and appreciate biodiversity.”
A charter of commitment to biodiversity, co-drafted and co-signed
The goal of this partnership is to grow together, and for each to better understand the activities of the other. The teams of each organisation have worked together to produce this charter which reflects a shared vision and commitment.
The charter takes into account the special characteristics of ECT’s work as an operator of non-built developments. In this way, we intend to reinforce the ways we work in regions that have strong potential for biodiversity.
Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT: “There aren’t many organisations like ECT that have the ability to create green, non-built developments with an environmental agenda. We are a manufacturer of landscapes on a grand scale. I believe that our approach to biodiversity on our projects must be proactive. This is the ambition and spirit of this charter. ECT definitely has the ability to make firm and lasting commitments to create, into the future, habitats that are re-worked, reconstituted, and conserved.”
The charter of commitment will be reflected, from 2020, in operational matters
The objective of this charter is to increase our expertise in carrying out our developments. Meeting this challenge means a commitment to three things:
- Turning the potential for biodiversity of ECT sites into reality
- Training our people in biodiversity issues
- Participating in the development of knowledge on biodiversity
The charter is intended as a guide for the business. It is to be seen as a resource for putting in place a practical methodology. 2020 is going to be the year for providing the business with a map of practical and appropriate responses in support of biodiversity.
See the complete ECT / Humanité & Biodiversité charter by clicking here.
A meeting between Bernard Chevassus-au-Louis and Laurent Mogno.
On the occasion of the signing of the charter, the two signatories met to discuss the issues of biodiversity in the development of sites.
See the four episodes of this conversation
“Earth as a Material”, a new book by Antoine Grumbach
Antoine Grumbach is an architect and town planner. This book is a reflection on metropolitan (metropolitan France, that is) land art. It gets its impetus from his awareness of the sheer volume of soil excavated by the construction & public works sector in the Île-de-France region.
Antoine Grumbach has no doubts – soil is a marvellous material. He explains all in his book entitled: “La Terre comme matériau: les Belvédères du Grand Paris”.
In the book, the architect and town planner describes the project of “made hills”. A visible sign of a symbolic ‘circular economy’, they have sprung up at the edges of the Paris metropolitan area.
ECT shares this ambition with Antoine Grumbach; the ambition of turning an “astonishing, intelligent, poetic, bold, useful” project into reality – the belvederes or lookout hills of the metropolitan area.
The sketches in the book illustrate these discoveries and explorations. The book unveils a laboratory of the imagination. They are steps to celebrate the fragility of the limits of the metropolitan area, as symbolised by these belvederes.
[In The News] Annet-sur-Marne: The transformation of the ECT site into a solar park has begun
To mark the start of works on the 17 MW solar park at Annet-sur-Marne, the first panel was officially fitted on 14 November.
14 November was the official ceremony for the fitting of the first photovoltaic panel at the future Les Gabots solar park, in the presence of the mayor of Annet-sur-Marne, Christian Marchandeau, and the vice-president of the Conseil Régional, Jean-Philippe Dugoin-Clément.
The 45-acre project includes the installation of 44,000 solar panels. That’s why the works will continue until the end of summer 2020.
Present at the opening ceremony, Hendrick Delaire, a journalist for Le Parisien, spoke to the various participants:
Eric Scotto, chairman and co-founder of Akuo Energy, said “this power plant will produce 17 megawatts. That’s enough to provide 3,700 homes with electricity, which represents about 10,000 people. That will make the Annet commune a net producer of energy”.
The output of the future panels will be enhanced thanks to the combination of the skills of the two companies. Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, explains: “ECT is reshaping some terrain to give the panels a better orientation and thus optimise the insolation or amount of sun they receive”.
It’s their first project, but they have no intention of letting the co-operation come to an end any time soon. Akuo and ECT “expect to develop more solar parks on sites that ECT has already created using inert waste.”
See the complete article by Hendrick Delaire of Le Parisien by clicking here.
See the complete article by Jean-Paul Viart of Le Moniteur Seine-et-Marne by clicking here.
[IN THE NEWS] FROM LE JOURNAL DU GRAND PARIS – “100% OF THE SOIL FROM THE GRAND PARIS EXPRESS DELIVERED TO ECT WILL BE UPCYCLED”
Laurent Mogno, chairman of the ECT Group, spoke to Catherine Bernard of Le Journal du Grand Paris..
Laurent Mogno re-examined the definition of “inert soil”, and the concept of “la valorisation des terres” or upcycling soil. He started with a reminder that re-using excavated soil provides an opportunity for development in the regions, and for biodiversity. It was the soil from ‘The Hole’ at the Halles de Paris that went to make the landforms in the park at La Courneuve. And this park is classified as a Natura 2000 site.
During this interview, Laurent Mogno explained how the ECT company deals with soil from works on Grand Paris Express sites, and in particular the soil from the tunnel-boring machines. And how 100% of the soil from the GPE that is entrusted to ECT becomes part of the creation of land-use developments – whatever regulatory framework resulted in authorisation to re-use these soils.
See the full article by clicking here
[Appointments] ECT restructures its strategic approach and reinforces its dialogue with communities and local authorities
ECT is focussing and accelerating its growth as a major player in green developments for leisure, sports and agriculture.
ECT is focussing and accelerating its growth as a major player in green developments for leisure, sports and agriculture.
With two new appointments, ECT aims to focus its growth and reinforce its dialogue with communities and local authorities.
As the leading operator in France of a ‘circular economy’ for the excavated soils of the construction & public works sector, ECT is keen to develop its position as the go-to organisation in non-built developments for leisure and urban agriculture.
With this business dynamic in mind, ECT’s management has been strengthened by two appointments:
Guillaume Pasquier has joined the business as Director of Development. He is thus in charge of working with local authorities to develop ideas for new projects. His role also includes dealing with the large regional competitions.
Jonathan Bryden has become Director of New Markets and Services. His role is to identify new opportunities for growth, and to lead the Group’s move into international markets.
Guillaume Pasquier received an engineering degree from Mines Nancy (the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Nancy) in 2000, and a Masters from Sciences Po Paris (the Paris Institute of Political Studies) in 2004.
He began his career with Procter & Gamble. He then became parliamentary attaché to Christian Blanc. In 2007, he went to the USA where he worked as policy officer for a consulting company specialising in environmental issues. In 2008, he was a ministerial adviser in the office of Christian Blanc, who was then Secretary of State for Development in the Paris region. He was involved in the launch of the Grand Paris project. From 2009, he directed the pilot team for the planned EPA Paris-Saclay (Etablissement Public Paris-Saclay). He became the EPA’s first deputy CEO in 2011. For 5 years, he piloted one of the flagship development projects of Grand Paris. In 2016, Guillaume Pasquier joined the La Française group to develop a “Grand Paris holding company”. The object of this company was to invest in real estate development projects near the Grand Paris Express stations.
Since October 2019 he has been ECT’s Director of Development.
Jonathan Bryden has an MBA from ESSEC, and an expert knowledge of banking acquired at HSBC in London and then at Citigroup in Paris, London and New York. He has worked in mergers & acquisitions, company flotations, raising capital on financial markets, restructuring debt and advising investment funds. Jonathan has also advised on the development of start-ups in the United States and in Europe. In 2014, he became the head of international corporate development / M&A at PMU. He has worked on the development of businesses in Belgium, Germany and Brazil.
Since October 2019, Jonathan has been ECT’s Director of New Markets and Services.
A new project opens at Morangis in the Essonne département
A municipal vegetable garden to bring more nature into town
The site for the new vegetable garden covers 5,390m². This area is for sustainable market gardening, aimed at school canteens in town. Excavated soils are a very good basis for a market garden. Degraded soils can be covered with a layer of inert soil and fertile topsoil, and the new landforms help with water management. The site will also have an educational role. The process of taking over this new environment opens the possibility of education about biodiversity, exchanges and sharing in the garden.
A new archery range to expand the sports programme
A new 10,000m² outdoor site has been set aside for archery for the ‘Compagnie d’Arc’ club of Morangis. Access to the site will be arranged for people with reduced mobility. This sport will be done in complete safety, thanks to the installation of a protective bund. The raised area will be wooded with fruit trees planted on a layer of fertile substrate. This substrate is a product of combining recycled inert soils with green compost.
Design and numbers
The project is taking shape on land belonging to the commune. It has been entirely “eco-designed” in conjunction with the Morangis town council. The objective was to set out upstream, with the local authority, the content of the developments, their uses for the benefit of the region, and the environmental management of the site. ECT planned the access route for bringing soil to the site in such a way as to reduce the impacts of the works, and to help them become part of the fabric of local life.
- An area of 33,000m² including 10,000 m² of sports space and 5,390 m² of urban market garden
- Duration of works: 4 months bringing in soil, and 2 months developing the agricultural and sports aspects
[In The News – Internationally] “Fabricated Hills: Earth Movement around Paris”
“Fabricated Hills: Earth Movement around Paris”
The international journal “Accattone” dedicated a dozen pages in its sixth issue to ECT and its model for upcycling excavated soil.
The author, architect Galaad Van Daele, came to visit us in June 2019. He describes, in this very aesthetic article, his perceptions of two ECT sites. First, his visit to the Arboretum Park at Moissy-Cramayel (77) which was shaped by ECT using inert soil from construction sites in the Île-de-France region. Then, his exploration of our centre for biological treatment of soil polluted with hydrocarbons, at La Courneuve (93), the first of its kind to be entirely enclosed.
To see the article in full, click here
“The Grand Paris Express and the Challenges of Managing Spoil”, an article by Clémence Barral of Le Figaro
What is the future of soil excavated from the Grand Paris Express? asks Clémence Barral
How is it to be managed in the long term? What can be done with this ‘spoil’ made up of soil excavated from railway stations and by the tunnel-boring machines?
The local authorities have some projects of their own, and others, such as “The Eyes of the Sky”, have been conceived by Antoine Grumbach and the ECT company.
See the whole article by Clémence Barral of Le Figaro by clicking here
For more information about “The Eyes of the Sky” at Villeneuve-sous-Dammartin, click here
Line Magne, the Mayor of Moissy-Cramayel, and Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, open a new urban park
On 22 June, Line Magne, the mayor of Moissy-Cramayel, Anne-Marie Démoulin, the deputy mayor responsible for sustainable development, Betty Chappe, the deputy mayor responsible for developing the eco-district of Chanteloup, and Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, inaugurated the Arboretum Park. This park is a new leisure space, open to the public in the eco-district of the Arboretum de Chanteloup.
New, green, sporty and educational, that’s the Arboretum Park.
The opening ceremony was an opportunity to explore this new park, a magnificent ‘green corridor’ or planted walk, on foot or by bicycle. It has nearly 2 miles of walking / cycling routes, a street workout zone and an arboretum. The sports associations of Moissy took an active part in the day. In particular there was the Kids Stride Out event by the Inisports school, and Moissy-Cramayel Athlétisme, Moissy Musculation, Rando Nature et Loisirs M-C, Cyclo Club Moissy-Cramayel and the UFOLEP of the Seine-et- Marne département were also represented.
“I’m delighted that this park has finally become a reality and I thank the ECT company for bringing this ambitious project to a successful conclusion, together with the municipality’s own departments. As with the town’s other neighbourhoods, our eco-district will now have its own jewel-box of greenery. It’s a new place that the people of Moissy will not take long to make their own, in their own way to suit their wishes: strolls, sport, picking from small fruit trees, discovering the flora and fauna … “ Line Magne, mayor of Moissy-Cramayel
The design and funding are part of a ‘circular economy’ of soil excavated from the sites of the construction & public works sector
As set up by the ECT company, the creation of the park was completely funded by bringing in inert soil from construction & public works sector sites in the south-east of the Paris region. This has also funded landscaping, educational and sports developments.
« For the last 18 months, ECT crews have been working to create and finalise the Arboretum Park, in tandem with teams from the town hall. ECT’s business is creating land-use developments that are useful to the community and local authorities by re-using excavated soil. The Arboretum Park is a very fine example. » Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT
The orchard, the lake and the arboretum enhance the landscape and the walking area
The deliberately environmental nature of these spaces for biodiversity has an educational aspect. The educational side appears in the many interpretative panels to help people explore the various sites and trees in the park. With the fruit trees in the orchard and the remarkable trees in the arboretum, the park is home to a lot of trees. There are typical native species as in the nearby forest of Sénart such as the pedunculate oak, the alder and the yew; and exotics such as the Japanese pagoda tree and the cedar of Lebanon.
A park open to all: Families, sportspeople and people with disabilities
As requested by the Town Hall and local associations, the Arboretum Park is accessible to all, and proudly aims to get the “Tourisme et Handicap” label. That means providing facilities suitable for this section of the public. Half of the routes are accessible to all, and they make it possible to visit the whole park. The signage, and the access to signage, have been developed specifically with this in mind.
An eco-district enhanced by the Arboretum Park.
The eco-district of Chanteloup already contains new homes and an urban farm. There is a plan for the construction of more new homes. The Arboretum Park represents, as a public amenity for shared leisure and sports, a new vector in the residential aspect of Moissy-Cramayel.
“Soil excavated from the Grand Paris Express is just part of our annual volume”, an article from Cadre de Ville
Laurent Mogno, the chairman and CEO of ECT: “Soil excavated from the Grand Paris Express is just part of our annual volume”
Interview by Rémi Cambau, for Cadre de Ville, Friday 21 June 2019
[The main operator in soil recycling in the Île-de-France region announces that it processes between 12 and 15 million tons annually. “We are a bulk player”, says ECT’s CEO simply, before affirming: “In a period of just two and a half years, we find a new role for the equivalent of all the soil that the Grand Paris Express will produce in twelve years.”]
ECT’s project for a fertile substrate, winner of a call for proposals from Plaine Commune relating to the recycling of materials from the construction & public works sector
RECYCLING INERT SOILS AND GREEN WASTE TO CREATE FERTILE SOIL
As part of its look at the urban metabolism, Plaine Commune is piloting a new call for proposals. It’s entitled “Let’s work together to build new avenues for the re-use of materials from the construction & public works sector“.
For ECT, the objective of producing a fertile substrate has two recycling components: Recycling inert soil from the sites of the construction & public works sector, and recycling composted green waste. This mixture makes it possible to create technosols rapidly.
CONSERVE TOPSOIL, STOP IMPORTS
Topsoil is a natural resource that needs to be conserved. It’s important to limit imports of topsoil into cities as far as possible. ECT’s fertile substrate represents a 100% eco-friendly alternative:
- Produced near where it’s going to be used, it reduces the carbon footprint of both urban green space developments and restoring farmland;
- The product of twin avenues of recycling, the fertile substrate is a successful illustration of the ‘circular economy’.
INCREASE NATURE IN THE CITY WITH AN EFFECTIVE AND ECONOMIC SOLUTION
Developing nature in the city means limiting or even reversing the artificialisation of soils. This makes it possible to boost biodiversity and provide residents with spaces for relaxation and leisure.
Less expensive than topsoil, ECT’s fertile substrate makes it possible to develop more green spaces, adding to well-being in town.
RECONSTRUCT THE SOIL AND ‘GREEN’ THE CITY MORE EFFECTIVELY
When you create a technosol, you can vary the characteristics of the soil depending on its intended purpose: Vegetation, biodiversity, drainage and/or loadbearing capacity.
With a fertile substrate, it’s possible to modify the circulation or retention of water and minerals. It is also possible to achieve better stability and greater loadbearing capacity.
A DOUBLE EXPERTISE AND HIGH PRODUCTION CAPACITY
The leader in France in the re-use of inert soil, ECT has unrivalled expertise in the management and classification of soils. This expertise includes producing fertile substrates. ECT also has a subsidiary called BIODEPE, a business that specialises in organic waste and the fertilisation of soils. BIODEPE manages the local supply of compost made from green waste, and the production of a fertile mix.
Processing 15 million tons of excavated soil per year, ECT is able to meet all the supply needs of its customers. That’s why we can also provide a substantial outlet for the green waste pathway in the Île-de-France region.
CHECKING THE QUALITY AND TRACEABILITY OF ECT’S FERTILE SUBSTRATE
ECT checks the materials that go to make up its fertile substrate. Standards for analysis and traceability apply to both the inert soil and the green waste – unlike topsoil, which has no guarantee of analysis or traceability.
- The waste codes for inert soil: 17 05 04 / 20 02 02
- The waste codes for green waste: 20 02 01
ECT’S FERTILE SUBSTRATE IS RECOMMENDED FOR GRASSLAND SOILS, TREE WELLS AND GROWING CONTAINERS
- French standard NF U 44-551
- ECT’s centre of production is at La Courneuve (93), with roll-out planned for other ECT sites
- It can also be produced in situ where it will be used
- Available in ‘big bags’ or in bulk
- Competitive prices
1,000 cubic metres of excavated soil for an Earthworks workshop run by the ENSP
Simon Boudvin, an artist and a professor at the ENSP national landscaping school, has led the first EARTHWORKS workshop in partnership with ECT. The goal of the workshop? To create an artwork in 4 days using 1,000m3 of soil.
For this workshop, with thirty-odd students from the ENSP or École de Paysage de Versailles, ECT made available: A site, inert soil, a bulldozer, and its operator.
The challenges? There were several:
- To examine the conceptual roots of Land Art
- To understand a landscape that has been reconstructed with inert soil
- To create an object on the scale of the wider landscape
The challenge was taken up successfully! A new landscape appeared!
Photo credit Simon Boudvin / ENSP
Launch of the first phase in the rehabilitation of the domaine of the château of Grange-le-Roy (77)
SAFER IDF has officially launched the first phase of the work to rehabilitate the ‘domaine’ or estate of the château of Grange-le-Roy at Grisy-Suisnes (77). Laurent Mogno, chairman of ECT, attended to describe the phases by which inert soil will be brought to the site.
The objective of the project is to restore the domaine’s farmland with plantations of walnut trees and wood for heating, and to rehabilitate the property’s heritage and the landscaped park.
A second life for an abandoned site
Site owner SAFER IDF (Île-de- France) has acquired the 170-acre estate of Grange-le-Roy at Grisy-Suisnes in the département of Seine-et-Marne. The historical and architectural aspects are being looked after by a private investor and ECT is working on the nature and landscaping aspects.
There have been several previous failed attempts to rehabilitate the estate of Grange-le-Roy. That is why the site today shows all the signs of being derelict. The château and its outbuildings are very dilapidated, and rubbish and illegal dumping sully the ground and the natural surroundings.
Taking it back by applying a principle of ‘circular economy’: The re-use of inert soil
The provision of inert soil makes it possible to create a forestry enterprise of walnut trees and trees for fuelwood. This soil will also make it possible to restore the other natural and landscaping spaces of the estate.
How? Putting the domaine back in order in terms of forestry and landscaping is possible thanks to ECT’s upcycling of inert soil. This soil comes from construction and public works sites in the Île-de-France region, and this finances the various developments and plantations. The soil will itself be used to remodel the domaine and the park.
Renewing the landscape with a public park and productive wooded areas
At the end of the project, when it is opened to the public, walkers will be able to explore some remarkable new features:
- There will be a foundation for contemporary and digital art in the château and the park
- The 2.5 acre walking area will be enhanced by a sloping bank providing an open panorama
- The forestry will consist of a 50-acre plantation of walnut trees and 7 acres of fuelwood.
- A new meadow and open spaces will offer a haven of biodiversity
Respect for biodiversity
The project will include a number of measures to conserve ecological habitats. It’s a question of sustaining sensitive natural habitats and encouraging flora and fauna.
On the 24 acres of natural habitats there are important ecological issues, especially as regards the open spaces and the wetland zones on the site. Ecological site management will reinforce the conservation initiatives. The wetlands will be conserved over 10 acres and recreated over 1.5 acres with the installation of reed beds. ECT is restoring 7 small lakes.
There will be specific developments for protected species. With the creation and restoration of lakes, there will be bat-boxes and refuges for reptiles. ECT has relocated amphibians and a protected flower (a bladderwort, Utricularia australis).
Finally, ECT is arranging for there to be ecological follow-up of the site over a period of 30 years.
The project in numbers
- 30 years of dereliction
- 30 years of ecological follow-up
- 2019 = date when inert soil starts to arrive
- 5 years = duration of the development works
- 4,400 walnut trees planted on 50 acres
- 6,240m² of wetland
BAP! : The “Earth Moving” (“Terres en Mouvement”) exhibition at the national landscaping school
Earth Moving: A look at the made-ground landscapes of the Île-de-France region
The exhibition takes place at La Figuerie (a historic amphitheatre) in the Potager du Roi at ENSP Versailles.
It is open from 4 June to 23 June as part of BAP! (the Biennale d’Architecture et de Paysage) at Versailles.
Civil engineering works in the cities are generating a considerable and increasing amount of inert soil. Consisting of both topsoil and subsoil, this is being deposited and re-used, making new landscapes.
In the context of the partnership that the ENSP has established with the ECT Group, the exhibition goes behind the scenes in the construction of landscapes, to take a fresh look at these sites made from the products of earthmoving; constructed landscapes, totally man-made, their movement and arrangement orchestrated by the landscape architect.
The exhibition also looks at the uses and the environmental and landscape qualities that meet and find expression there. Contemporary sites in the Île-de-France region provide a context for analysis. They find their echo in the Potager du Roi which has itself been the subject throughout history of successive earthmoving projects.
This exhibition also provides an opportunity to present the work of the photographer Anne-Marie Filaire, who was given an assignment by ECT.
Curators of the exhibition:
Marie-Laure Garnier, DPLG (the acronym indicates a Versailles-trained landscape architect)
Romain Bocquet, also a DPLG landscape architect, and a gardener
The ENSP thanks the ECT Group for its support, and also François Roumet, DPLG landscape architect and town planner.
Credits : Marie-Laure Garnier