25 March 2015, 00:00
New headquarters of the Paris Ministry of Defence, Balard, utilises ROCKWOOL insulation for its fire-safe properties
The Project, nicknamed 'Balardgone' in reference to the United States Pentagon, was devised in 2007, and with the finished building space set to provide the working environment for over 9,000 people the fire-protective properties of ROCKWOOL Insulation improve safety on-site.
The site will become the new centre of administration for the Ministry of Defence (MOD), with aims to optimise departmental organisation and improve the framework of military and civilian personnel. A hexagonal building design at the core of the project serves to represent this function, with the minister and his cabinet acting at the centre of a multi-faceted operational structure.
This unique design comes as a result of the combined efforts of three, well renowned architectural companies: Nicolas Michelin, Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Pierre Bolze Atelier 2/3/4, each playing a role in the renovation and new-build parts of the project. To the east of the main site, buildings in the City of Air will also undergo restoration work, making the total area for the work around 280,000 m2.
Despite being located apart from one another, the finished buildings will be connected via a pathway that runs between tree-lined public space and living spaces, set against Paris's green-belt area.
The size of the project, coupled with its large capacity for personnel and the nature of its function, makes design-integrated safety of paramount importance, and Jean-Francois Dumand of the Low Energy Design Department, ROCKWOOL France, states that 'the combination of ROCKFACADE and ROCKFEU met these high requirements by improving fire protection and durability in the buildings, while the environmental benefits of ROCKWOOL Insulation also played a key role’.
Approximately 16,000 m2 of 150mm ROCKFEU was designated to the project, which, in the event of a fire, offers protection of up to 2 hours – crucial in giving the necessary time needed to escape a burning building. There was also over 50,000 m2 of ROCKFACADE cladded insulation supplied to the site, bolstering fire-protection while lending an aesthetic appeal to the building’s exterior.
The MOD in Balard is not only self-sufficient, but contributes to the rehabilitation of the surrounding neighbourhood and the development of the local economy too, with civilians gaining access to new facilities such as an early childhood centre, a swimming pool and a large health centre.