French National Engineering Awards 2018: the Planète Nausicaá project distinguished

Daniel Truffin and et Adrien Escoffier from Egis and Bruno Loiseleux & Vincent Boyaval from Ingérop received the prestigious accolade for the successful redevelopment of the largest aquarium in Europe, located in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Planète Nausicaá, which first opened in 1991, inaugurated its fourth extension in May earlier this year.

Conceived by the architects Jacques and Sophie Rougerie, Nausicaá is a one-of-a-kind destination for the discovery of the marine environment. It offers an enjoyable, educational and scientific experience which mainly focuses upon the relationship between man and the sea.

Its fourth extension since it opened in 1991 in Boulogne-sur-Mer was inaugurated on Friday, 18 May 2018.

Following two years of building work, the facility doubled its exhibition surface area (10,000 m²) and quadrupled the volume of its tanks (17,000 m³). To deliver a heat-efficient site, Egis used the simultaneous requirement for heating and cooling to optimise installations and reduce consumption. Excess heat was then injected into the urban heating network. Ingérop furthermore implemented innovative systems to recycle and process tank water.

Two leading engineering firms for a monumental project

Egis and Ingérop pooled their engineering skills to optimally fulfil the multitude of technical requirements inherent in this type of construction.

Egis’s Buildings teams were in charge of the general engineering of the building, including the concrete and metallic structures, climatic and electrical engineering, and compliance with safety regulations in this first-category public access building.

Ingérop Conseil et Ingénierie, meanwhile, took responsibility for general aquariology engineering, including the water treatment process, the sizing of viewing windows and the tunnel made from methacrylate, and the furnishings and lighting of the aquariums and tanks.

Their know-how and experience combined to achieve some highly technical solutions in view of the demanding constraints of the project. The complexity of civil engineering in the construction of tanks and structures and of the aquarium and water treatment techniques, the production of tank furnishings and atmospheres, the electrical installations (high and low-voltage) and the cross-functional energy optimisation system were all technical challenges which arose at design phase, making for a quite outstanding project.

The French National Engineering Awards are organised by the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, the Ministry of Territorial Cohesion (Environment and Sustainable Development General Council – CGEDD) and the Ministry of Economy and Finance's Directorate General for Enterprise (DGE), in partnership with Syntec Ingénierie, and in association with Le Moniteur group. This year, the awards ceremony took place at the Carreau du Temple in central Paris, at the major recruitment forum Meet’Ingé 2018, organised by Syntec Ingénierie.