Located in the Berge du Lac mixed development zone to the north of Bordeaux, the Ginko eco-neighbourhood is named after the Gingko biloba, the oldest known species of tree and a symbol of resilience and longevity. There is nothing random about the choice of name: with its bioclimatic architecture, very high energy performance and low-energy buildings, renewable energies and rational water use, this innovative sustainable neighbourhood has its roots in the most advanced environmental principles.
- Bioclimatic architecture
The buildings are positioned and laid out in such a way as to keep them cool in summer and warm in winter by optimising sunlight and natural air circulation. Green roofs further improve the thermal insulation of the apartment buildings in the Ginko development. 90% of apartments will have BBC low-energy certification and 10% THPE very high energy performance certification. Wood comes from eco-certified sustainably managed forests in the nearby Landes region.
- Renewable energies
Ginko is the first eco-neighbourhood in France to use a shared heating network running entirely on energy from renewable sources (80% wood biomass, 20% oil biomass).
A tempered water system cools the shops, offices and retirement home.
The heating network preheats domestic water, with additional heating being provided by solar panels, depending on the building's orientation.
Photovoltaic panels produce some of the energy.
50% of road space will be reserved for soft transport modes (bus, tram, bike, foot).
6 kilometres of cycle paths and 3 canal features are planned.
Ginko offers "walking bus" and "cycling bus" routes to schools, leisure facilities and other amenities.
At the first National Urban Sustainability Conference in 2009, the Ginko eco-neighbourhood won theenergy efficiency and renewable energy prize awarded by the French Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea.
Nature, in the form of interior and hanging gardens and a 4.5-hectare (11-acre) park, is an integral part of Ginko, planted with over 800 trees and thousands of shrubs and other plants. As well as being suited to the soil and climate, the chosen species are non-allergenic and require little watering and upkeep.
Through its layout and the variety of its amenities, Ginko favours a mix of functions, uses, residents, generations and services. The eco-neighbourhood will ultimately accommodate 6,000 residents and offer:
2,150 housing units (apartments or houses), with social housing accounting for 33% of the total,
30,000 m² of shops,
25,000 m² of offices,
4,000 m² of serviced residences,
a retirement home,
amenities including two primary schools, a middle school, a community centre, a dance centre and a gym with a climbing wall.
A social dimension has been an integral part of the Ginko project from the design phase. Involved in many community initiatives in urban environments, Bouygues Immobilier was particularly keen to create social links with the nearby Les Aubiers district.
Supporting the local economy
From the building phase, steps were taken to encourage employment and training for residents of Les Aubiers, for example by giving them priority for available civil engineering, building and security jobs. A catering course targeting women's groups in the neighbourhood was designed in cooperation with local authorities, social partners and the local employment agency. The Bouygues Immobilier Corporate Foundation also encourages local micro-businesses in the context of its partnership with micro-credit specialist ADIE.
Creating social ties
Several projects aim to ensure that these links with the local community remain well after the end of construction work. In addition to the creation of a local branch of the AMAP (an association of consumers tied to a local producer by an agreement providing for bulk delivery of vegetables grown by organic agriculture on a set date), shared gardens are being created in consultation with residents of Ginko and Les Aubiers.
At the same time, Bouygues Immobilier is working with local schools and sporting and cultural associations on initiatives to raise awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues. As part of the MediaTerre project, initiated by the association Unis-Cité and supported by the Bouygues Immobilier Corporate Foundation, young people engaged in civic service are helping low-income families to reduce their energy bills by raising their environmental awareness.
Ginko, an award-winning eco-neighbourhood
In recognition of this commitment to the community, Ginko was awarded the 2011 Social and Economic Quality prize at the Development for the Community awards. Presented by the French National Association of Planners and Developers at its annual congress, the award aims to give greater visibility to the role played by developers in the construction of sustainable cities.
Situated to the north of Bordeaux, Ginko, the eco-neighbourhood on Bordeaux Lake, is in a prime location between nature and the city. On Line C of the tramway, Ginko is only a quarter of an hour from the historic centre of Bordeaux. The ring road and the Bordeaux Lake shopping centre are also nearby. Surrounded by green spaces and water, it is a sustainable community in a privileged and economically vibrant location that boasts many services and shops and a large number of employers.
- Area: 32,3 hectares (80 acres)
- Number of housing units: 2,150
- Scheduled handover: 2012 – 2014 – 2017 (3 phases)
- Energy consumption: 45 kwh/an/m² maximum primary energy
- Renewable energies: 100%
- Awards: Social and Economic Quality prize 2011