Within the VIGUIER office, everyone is aware of the role that the architect / urban planner must have as a major actor of the so-called sustainable city. They must reflect a social and human approach to architecture that is always conducted in a fair balance.

More than ever before, this city building must take into account the management of flows and air circulation, to fight against pandemics. Baron Haussman thought of this for Paris in the 19th century, the 21st century must be just as demanding in this respect, as shown by our health crisis caused by COVID 19. But it cannot be fully assumed, without a rigorous application of its doctrine within the company itself. A doctrine that must be thought out both in the design and implementation of projects and in the implementation of a management and agency development strategy focused on respect for the individual and the environment.

A commitment to sustainable architecture and urban planning

Thinking of the city by responding to the demands of its sustainability is a primary commitment of the agency VIGUIER. Working on the Sustainable City, a reflection of tomorrow’s society, based on exchange, solidarity and eco-responsibility, has been a founding element of its practice for many years. This commitment is evident at every stage of the project.

VIGUIER has made the choice of having numerous skills available internally (architecture, urban design and landscape, to mention only the most important), thus enabling it to promote a voluntarily global approach and de facto to control the impact of projects on their environment, in order to favor a harmonious and intelligent insertion on all levels.

The development of its own concepts, such as the Intense City, disseminated through conferences, articles, and exhibitions, has contributed to the reflection and public debate on the city at all levels.

VIGUIER is continually involved in supporting project owners, consultations, as well as public information and participation procedures, in order to build the city around its users.

The experience acquired by the agency in multi-functional operations and in the creation of “pieces of cities”, has concomitantly allowed it to develop an expertise and a specific pedagogy, allowing it, notably through the internal production of high-quality models, to optimize exchanges on the project with elected officials and citizens.


Innovation for a responsible architecture

Thanks to the research and development of new working tools, such as digital mock-up software, the agency can evaluate the impact of its projects on their environment. These innovative tools are also used for low-carbon design (BBCA), reuse of materials, deconstruction, recycling or energy recovery of end-of-life elements. They also promote the use of Artificial Intelligence for urban design.

In terms of design itself, the agency proposes the integration of ecological materials, such as wood or low-carbon concrete, on all types and scales of projects. (Hypérion housing tower in Bordeaux, Vinci headquarters in Nanterre). This commitment would not be complete without constantly updating our thinking and our ways of designing the city and the buildings that make it up. For that purpose, VIGUIER participates in numerous groups of reflections on Health, on Housing and on the manufacture of the city.

An approach to reduce the ecological impact

The commitment to sustainable development also applies to the agency’s daily operations. In terms of transportation, we have defined a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agency encourages its employees to use public transport (50% of the transport card is paid for) and bicycles (a mileage allowance is paid for). The agency has a parking lot and a recharging station for electric vehicles.

As far as consumables are concerned, VIGUIER has decided to dematerialize almost all procedures, including calls for applications, competition reports, building permits, and simple administrative documents, notably through the acquisition of electronic signature certificates.

In general, we take care to print only what is essential. In a concern of recycling, we have systematized the reuse of defective printings, by transforming them as well in draft for our collaborators, as in supports of drawings, for the surrounding school structures. The surplus is sorted to give it a second life. Since November 2016, the agency has set up a selective sorting of some of its waste. The company Elise is in charge of the collection, whose particularity is to employ workers with disabilities. This waste is then recovered by Veolia in agreement with the company Elise. The agency sorts of paper, cardboard and plastic cups, using three different dedicated garbage cans.

Well aware that eco-responsible behavior must be done upstream, a purchasing approach in this sense has been systematized, both in the selection of paper used and in the abandonment of certain media, such as diaries, now replaced by our digital diaries. Used toners are stored until they are collected and recycled. Finally, used electrical and electronic equipment used on our premises is given to specialized recycling organizations.

We are constantly increasing our employees’ awareness of energy saving. For example, we make sure that all computer equipment is completely switched off every evening when leaving the premises. Finally, the reduction of waste has also been achieved by eliminating all disposable bottles, cups and dishes, replaced by washable and reusable containers.

Responsible human resources management

The agency has made it a point of honor to prioritize and continually improve the comfort of its employees. The workstations are ergonomic and bright, and the meeting rooms are equipped with high-performance digital equipment to facilitate exchanges.

Cafeterias have been designed on all floors, and a fully equipped kitchen is available to employees. For the well-being of its employees, VIGUIER has adopted a biophilic design for its premises with the presence of nesting boxes, beehives, tall trees, aquariums, etc., not to mention the development of outdoor spaces for more conviviality in the summer.

Encouraging the consumption of products that favor short circuits, the agency has opened an account at Biocoop, a store selling organic products, in order to give its employees a 5% discount. Remaining alert to the trust that must reign between an employer and his employee, a Welcome Booklet has been put in place, sent to each new arrival, detailing the benefits of the employee (luncheon vouchers, mutual insurance and supplementary health insurance, Company Savings Plan, etc.), as well as the particularities of the agency’s operation (closing date, vacations, etc.). The schedules are flexible and adaptable, always in a climate of trust, to the personal needs of each individual. The agency is therefore committed to avoiding the traditional “cart”.

We also offer an internal training methodology, in the form of workshops led by our most experienced collaborators, on all the subjects that VIGUIER has been and remains confronted with on a daily basis. This approach aims to enrich each person’s professional career, even beyond that of the firm.

In the future, our approach is bound to progress. It wants to be more and more transparent and in accordance with the standards in force. We are trying to create a reference model of the good behavior of the actors of our field, in order to change the processes of the real estate sector, the most polluting sector in France.