The construction area is the largest user of raw materials in the whole word, far ahead the energy needs. The world production is continuously increasing, and emits alone 5% to 6% of the human activities greenhouse gases. Sand, used in the production of concrete, is the second mineral material extracted with a volume growing very rapidly, generating multiple environmental and socio economic impacts.
The project EARTH CYCLE aims at diversifying material sourcing by developing materials made of raw extracted soil, an abundant resource when considering City development, today considered as dump and tackled as such.
This project of circular economy is expected to generate several positive impacts: reduce vulnerability to expected natural resource shortage, contribute to lower carbon content of City building, provide new means of attaining building reversibility, lower local impact of City building (excessive use of water, noise, trucks flow, dust), reduce impacts on side areas (providing resources or receiving waste).
The proposed solution aims at using the extracted soil as a modern City construction material.
The project lies on several actions:
- use soil extracted from sites close to future urbanization area: the future stations of Grand Paris metro in Sevran
- get a good expertise on extracted soil to define the suitable kind of material that can be built from this resource
- store and transform the extracted earth on site thanks to 3 lines of transformation
- sell and use the production on nearby construction projects
- City of Sevran
- Great Paris Developer - GPA
- Greater Paris Transportation - SGP
- Antea Group - earth building specialist company
- Joly&Loiret - earth building specialist company
- IFSTTAR (French institute of science and technology for transport, development and networks)
- Sciences-Po Paris; ENSAG (Architecture, Environment and Building Cultures)
- CSTB (Scientific and Technical Centre for Building) - higher education and research institutes
- CRATERRE - higher education and research institutes
- Skills for Employment - NGO
Earth Cycle aims at:
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions in City building by providing a local sourcing
- providing new means of attaining building reversibility with a material that can go back to soil with no damage when deconstructing a building
- reducing vulnerability to natural resource shortage by employing local soil instead of limited resources like sand and aggregates
- reduces impact of urbanization on side area (area providing resources or receiving dump)
- develop local jobs in a context of unemployment
- provide healthy materials as far as air quality is concerned
April - June 2018: first test excavations. Those primary excavations will enable earth experts to get the knowledge on underground soil. This will be the basis to set up earth cycle project because it will determine what kind of raw material we should transform into earth materials
December 2018: selection of factory operator. After one year of selection procedure to set up the juridical form of the plant, an operator will be selected after a competitive selection.
March 2019: factory building reception. The building will host earth storage, earth transformation into materials, and then end product storage before shipping to customers.
April 2019: machines reception at factory. Those machines will transform selected earth lot into raw earth material.
May to december 2019: test phase. This period is key to validate the factory process and test materials to ensure they are appropriate for construction use.
January 2020: first production. Production is ready for use.
“We are building everyday the future of our City through local economy development, a renewed urban and environmental patrimony to legate to next generations.”