Built by Baudoin Bergeron Architectes, this new building containing 17 social housing units produces more energy than it consumes. Electricity is produced by 127 m2 of photovoltaic panels installed on the roof, and hot water via thermal solar panels and greywater heat-recovery from showers and washing machines. On the facade, the asymmetrical blinds can either capture the sun's rays on the aluminium internal reflecting side, or deflect them via the openwork metallic side: a great solution for adapting the home to the seasons.This high energy performance HLM (low cost housing) complies perfectly with the requirements of the City of Paris Climate and Energy Action Plan, consuming less than 35 kWh/m2/year of primary energy. In the middle of the building a zenithal glass roof floods the stairs and lifts with light. The building is an initial, exemplary energy-positive social housing unit in Paris.
Square des Jardiniers
Further along Rue Guénot is the Squaredes Jardiniers, which is listed as an "Espace Vert Ecologique" (Ecological Green Space). Named after the old market gardens, it provides a calm shady spot for walkers under the many surrounding lime trees. Hazels and willows (Salix caprea) add to the mix.This willow is a pioneer wild species that is resistant, easy to grow and early flowering. The catkins appear around the end of February, a welcome sight for the bees who start to appear and need food at this time.This shrub is grown in the City's horticultural centre at Rungis.The reintroduction of local plants originating from the Ile-de-France region into Parisian gardens is in line with the City of Paris Biodiversity Plan objectives. Perfectly adapted to the Ile-de-France soil and climate, these plants encourage indigenous wildlife and a natural ecological balance.
Three gable walls painted by Michel Boutroux in 1992 lengthen the geometrical lines of the garden, enlarging the space. To save water the old waterfall basins have been filled in and planted with roses and fescue, a perennial grass with bluish foliage. The imposing rosemary bushes (Rosmarinus officinalis), aromatic melliferous plants, are appreciated by nectar and pollen-seeking insects. James roof (Garrya elliptica) is an evergreen bush from the United States. It flowers extremely early, with long grey-green catkins appearing in February-March.
There is also a plot of land where children from the neighbouring Ganenou and Cité Voltaire schools learn about urban gardening in accordance with ecological principles. The teachers who initiated this programme have signed the "Petite Main Verte" (Little Green Fingers) charter organised by the city's "Main Verte" (Green Fingers) Programme.
Turning green, a leading arrondissement
Not far away, in Passage Dumas, vegetation planted by the residents complements the municipal spaces. A hedge and the ivy covering the facade of a house next to the square provide a network of greenery where passerine birds, spiders and insects find food and make homes. Besides its aesthetic and ecological qualities, this vegetation lowers the ambient temperature during heat waves, a bonus for a dense city like Paris.
The 11th arrondissement has 32 public gardens covering 24.7 acres (10 hectares).This mosaic of gardens forms part of the Parisian Green Network. Since 2000 five gardens have been created, reinforcing the green network in this arrondissement. Projects for building new gardens (Impasse Truillot, Rue Bréguet) are in accordance with the desire to add greenery to the capital.Green areas within cities are now acknowledged for their vital contribution to inhabitants' health and well-being, the increase in urban biodiversity and the fight against urban heat islands. The line of plane trees on Boulevard Voltaire adds greenery to the street.
Cross at Métro Boulet.