Hangar Zero

  • Building Type : Logistics warehouse
  • Construction Year : 1920
  • Delivery year : 2022
  • Address 1 - street : 37 quai de la Saône 76600 LE HAVRE, France
  • Climate zone : [Cfb] Marine Mild Winter, warm summer, no dry season.

  • Net Floor Area : 2 450 m2
  • Construction/refurbishment cost : 1 078 000 €
  • Cost/m2 : 440 €/m2
  • Primary energy need :
    (Calculation method : Other )
Energy consumption
Economical buildingBuilding
< 50A
51 à 90B
91 à 150C
151 à 230D
231 à 330E
331 à 450F
> 450G
Energy-intensive building

Hangar 0 - read "zero", for zero waste, zero embodied energy, zero carbon, zero exclusion - is a project to convert a wasteland port in Le Havre into a citizen laboratory for ecological transition.

This project, winner of Réinventer la Seine, consists of the redevelopment of a former coffee dock, on the edge of a river basin to accommodate activities centered on the circular economy and urban agriculture. A shop, a restaurant and two workshops and offices have already been delivered. Eventually, this third place will also include an aquaponic greenhouse, shared workshops, a Fablab , coworking spaces, shared vegetable gardens and a permaculture garden.

Its primary purpose is to mobilize innovative solutions to improve the resilience of the territory of the city of Le Havre . These solutions make it possible to raise residents' awareness of responsible consumption by bringing them closer to circular economy players who experiment, produce and transmit within the very heart of Hangar 0.

This third place revolves around several pillars of the circular economy, mainly reuse, eco-design, extending the duration of use and the management of waste as resources. Hangar Zéro has therefore set itself the objective of reusing 90% of the construction materials used for the development of the 2500m² site .

Building users opinion

The occupants participate in the design and construction of the place. Their opinion can vary greatly depending on their degree of involvement.

What emerges most often is the feeling of tremendous civic energy, but also that everything takes too long! Former future occupants, less involved in the realization of the project, have given up to join faster projects!

If you had to do it again?

Based on our experience, we would move towards a higher re-employment rate. We have a feeling of failure when, lacking reused wood resources, or steel, we were forced to buy a new part, so as not to delay the work.

See more details about this project




    Emilie Lemay, Présidente

Construction Manager

    Frédéric Denise - Archipel Zéro

    Frédéric DENISE


    Other consultancy agency


    Brice Canaud et Steven Lemercier

    BET Reuse


    Lefebvre Industrie

    Willy Lefebvre

    Masonry and structural work


    French-Line Cabine

    Francois-Xavier Guyomard

    Transformation of shipping containers



    Harold Duchesne

    Exterior wood furnishings



    Interior insulation



    Matthieu Le Marchand



    La chaîne du Liège

    Yves Sauce

    recycled cork supplier

Contracting method

Other methods

Energy consumption

  • 157,00 kWhep/m2.an
  • Other

    Eventually, the heated premises of Hangar 0 will be heated by a water-water heat pump, using water from the river basin, and heat transfer from a 200 m² greenhouse. In the meantime, the spaces delivered are heated by means of closed fireplaces and inserts, with wood scraps from the construction site.

Envelope performance

    The design of the layout of Hangar 0 aims to combine sobriety, thanks to high-performance thermal insulation, with passive bioclimatic principles.

    The roof, the main source of loss, is insulated with 25 cm of polyurethane foam (we regret the use of this non-biosourced material, but it was imposed on us by the admissible load on the existing roof).

    The peripheral walls are insulated by expanded cork panels 15 cm thick, covered with a raw earth plaster.

    The containers hosting heated workshops will also be insulated from the outside, in a lighter way since they are in the temperate atmosphere of the hangar, in particular thanks to the superposition of false ceiling tiles in compressed mineral wool.

More information

The actual consumption of the building is unknown to date. As the building has a large part of unheated buffer spaces, the RT 2012 calculation is unsuitable.


    • Heat pump
    • Heat pump
    • Others
    • Others
    • Free-cooling
    • Single flow
    • Solar photovoltaic
    • Heat pump

    Hangar 0, on the edge of the river basin, will draw its thermal energy there thanks to a water-water heat pump. The glycol water collection network located under the pontoon will bring the heated water back to the heat pump which will distribute the heating network to the offices, restaurants, shop and training areas.

    Les apports solaires sont recherchés, par de grands percements en façade sud, qui respectent toutefois l’architecture du pignon en s’inscrivant dans le dessin des modénatures de briques.

Biodiversity approach

  • 2 200,00 m2
  • 39,00 %
  • 1 300,00
  • Hangar Zero is located at the interface between the City and the Port. It is also the figurehead of the ZAC Dumont-d'Urville, a new district in the making, of which it is the southern facade facing the river basin.

    Hangar Zero is connected to its environment with 3 entrances : the main entrance to the south facing the dock, the entrance on the garden side to the west and the eastern entrance to the ZAC Dumont d'Urville. Completely through, the Hangar Zéro is designed as a hall, bringing together on the ground floor the functions open to the public: restaurant, shop, shared workshops, intended primarily for the inhabitants of the district.

    The Hangar Zero garden is open to the public and connected to the river promenade. It includes shared vegetable gardens for the inhabitants of the district, and a transgenerational garden, common to the vocational high school and the Senior Residence located nearby.


    La chaîne du liège


    Second œuvre / Cloisons, isolation

Construction and exploitation costs

  • 50 000,00
  • 30 000
  • 1 078 000
  • 500 000
  • The project is super low-cost due to the construction in participatory self-construction, with local and free materials

Reuse : same function or different function

    • Structural works
    • Structural framework
    • Locksmithing-Metalwork
    • Indoor joineries
    • Outdoor joineries
    • Floorings
    • Partitions
    • Isulation
    • Suspended ceilings
    • Electricity
    • Heating ventilation air conditioning
    • Plumbing
    • Landscaping
    • others...

    Outdoor Facilities :

    • 1,200 reused sandstone cobblestones for the low wall on the periphery of the land (these are the old cobblestones that covered the quays)


    • 8 reformed shipping containers of 20 feet
    • 1 isothermal container of 40 feet


    • 10.44 m3 of reused wooden joists
    • 120.8 m² of structural floor


    • Bricks: 3,200 m²
    • Hessian bags: 94,400 m²
    • Earth: 2.6 m3 (only for coatings)
    • Box: 0.400 m3
    • Marble powder: 0.190 m3
    • Hair: 0.065 m3
    • Sawdust: 1.560 m3
    • Parchment of coffee: 0.390 m3

    Interior joinery:

    • Glazing: 8.82 m²
    • Glued laminated worktops: 9.3 ml


    • Suspended ceiling tiles: 158.7 m²
    • 60 mm thick polystyrene panels: approx. 39.7 m²

    Outdoor Facilities :

    Reused sandstone pavers. They come from the surroundings of Hangar Zero, whose loading docks they covered, and date back more than a century! They were used for the masonry of the fence walls on the periphery of the land. 4,000 paving stones stored outside will eventually cover the driveway and the site car park (not counted in this study).


    Structure :

    Shipping containers are the real bricks of Hangar Zero. They all come from the "Grand Port Maritime du Havre", bought through the company French Line Cabine from various shipping companies which are getting rid of their old, reformed or “last voyage” containers.

    These containers are used as supporting elements. They are stacked on top of each other, and support timber frame floors and partitions. They rest directly on the Hangar Zero platform, without the need for foundations, apart from steel plates under the most loaded containers, in order to distribute the load on the asphalt platform.



    • Structural floor (source: Linex 76)
    • Reused joists (source: Garage 3R and Actis)



    Installation of hessian bags soaked in slip (reuse of bags that carried coffee) as a support for the body plaster composed of sawdust, coffee parchment, excavated soil, hair. Then laying the finishing coat, made up of earth (source: excavation soil, Le Havre), crushed cardboard (source: Hangar Zero waste), hair (source: the neighborhood hairdresser!).


    Interior joinery:

    Glazed wall in the window of the shop composed of a sill made of reused bricks (source: Le Hangar Zero), reused wood (source: Actis – Reims) and earth (source: excavation earth, Le Havre) supporting the glazing for reuse (from: Lycée du Golf, Dieppe).



    Insulation of the south wall with reused polystyrene (source: Katoen Nati – Port Jérôme) and reuse of false ceiling tiles in compressed mineral wool (source: former Technical Center for Waste in Le Havre + EHPAD in Rouelles - Le Havre).

Sustainable design


    Containers are the most used reuse material for the construction of the laboratory. These are second-hand shipping containers (known as last-trip containers) with between 10 and 15 years of use. In the Hangar Zéro project, there are two kinds: 20-foot containers and 40-foot containers.

    These are used as foundation and floor supports. In reality they are simply placed on the macadam platform and are stacked in a garvitary way, without fixing. They fit into the spatial organization of the project. Once isolated, they play the role of partitions. They make it possible to create office spaces or to separate different spaces such as the kitchen and the restaurant.

    The use of these containers makes sense given the proximity of the project to the large seaport of Le Havre. They also remind us of the history of this hangar which was a storage place for goods and therefore linked to the port of Le Havre.

    Suspended ceiling tiles / polystyrene:

    These false ceiling tiles come from the EHPAD de Rouelles, which has been demolished.

    They are made of compressed mineral wool and therefore have insulating properties. In Hangar Zéro, these slabs were therefore reused to fill the interior walls with a wooden frame, combined with reused polystyrene, which is also insulating, in order to insulate the walls.

    The filling is carried out as follows : a false ceiling slab is positioned between the uprights of the frame on the bare exterior of the wall, then the polystyrene plate is put in place, then 4 pieces of false ceiling slabs redécoupés (two on each side) to create an air gap and finally we end up laying two false ceiling tiles. Nails are planted on both sides of the wall in order to maintain the elements.

    The false ceiling slabs filling these wooden frame partitions are then covered with hessian coffee sacks soaked in a slip of clay soil, which ideally sticks to this heterogeneous support, to then be covered with a cellulose earth coating.


    Loose cork, recycled from shredded cork stoppers, is used as insulation between the facade and the container walls. We also use this cork in bulk as well as the crushed offcuts of expanded cork panels, mixed with raw earth to make lightweight earth insulating walls.

    Earth wall lightened with cork, coffered way

    For the earth coatings we have also used recycled materials:

    • First of all, the earth which, in addition to being biosourced and local, comes from an excavation on another site in Le Havre. It is used in both body render and finish render, the only difference is that it is sieved for finish render.
    • Coffee parchment (which is the husk of a coffee bean) is used in the body filler. We find a lot of them in Le Havre because it is the first coffee importing port in France.
    • Sawdust, waste from sawmills, is also used in the body coating.
    • Marble powder is used in the finishing coat.
    • Hair, a rot-proof and renewable material in large quantities (every week a hairdresser produces about 50 L of hair), is used in the coating, they make it possible to fiber it. It is a local resource from the hairdressing salon “#Le Salon” located a few hundred meters from Hangar Zero.
    • The crushed cardboard comes from packaging cardboard (waste from Hangar 0), it is used in the finishing coating.
    • Burlap coffee sacks that were used to carry coffee on boats were also used as a carrier for the body filler. These bags recall the history of the place because the Hangar was used to store coffee.

    The marquetry wall located in the restaurant was entirely made with scrap wood or waste from the construction site.

    The finishing coats on the walls, the adobe bar, as well as many other elements of the project, were carried out on a participatory site with the members of Hangar 0, neighbors and volunteers from all walks of life. Their formulation has been studied to avoid any addition of extracted sand, replaced by crushed concrete from demolition and cellulose fiber, obtained in a participatory workshop by soaking and mixing cardboard packaging from the site.

    No foundation was made to support the containers. Instead, steel plates allow the distribution of their weight. All the containers are thus movable in order to adapt to future uses. This makes Hangar Zero a place with great adaptability because, except for the South plateaus, the space is almost entirely organized by containers and this space could be completely reorganized in 10 or 20 years.

    Nous avons utilisé de la terre provenant d’un autre chantier au Havre, c’est donc un matériau biosourcé et local.

    Du bois neuf a été utilisé pour les menuiseries extérieures et pour les murs intérieurs en ossature bois notamment le mur sud. C’est un matériau biosourcé. 

    L’espace du Hangar Zéro n’est pas si simple à chauffer de par sa surface de 1000 m² au sol et 15m de hauteur au sol. Ainsi le lieu a été isolé avec du liège neuf de 15 cm mais qui est toutefois un matériau biosourcé et écologique, qui permet une meilleure isolation thermique. Tout en sachant que le liège est aussi un matériau imputrescible, il permet au bâtiment “de mieux respirer”. Cependant il reste très inflammable. Il y a dès lors une obligation de le rendre ignifuge avec de l’enduit terre.

Environmental assessment

    Many avoided impacts are not quantifiable. Indeed, Hangar Zero also has an educational purpose, the objective is to raise public awareness of ecological and circular economy issues through awareness-raising workshops, participatory construction sites, site visits, etc.

    Hangar Zero has a 40 m3 water retention tank that collects rainwater and stores water that will then be used for :

    • water the green spaces, such as the greenhouse ;
    • cleaning ;
    • the realization coats earth ;
    • toilet flushes.

    All waste from Hangar Zero is sorted, there is a glass dumpster, a steel dumpster… The goal being that the majority of waste from the Hangar is recycled. This goes hand in hand with the recycling/resourcing project. For example, during construction, cardboard packaging (site waste) was reused in the production of the finishing coat. In the long term, the same logic is kept, the waste from the restaurant will be recovered by Le Havre de Vers in order to make vermicomposting.

    With regard to CO2, the impact avoided concerns the gray energy savings that have been made thanks to the use of reused materials. For example, the containers reused in the project are made of steel, being 10-15 year old containers called “last trips”. They were at the end of their life and would therefore have been recycled, therefore remelted, which consumes a lot of embodied energy compared to simple reuse. According to the FDES of a steel beam, the steel production phase would emit around 1.4 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of steel produced. By reusing these containers, we avoid remelting them, limiting the CO2 emissions that would be linked to their recycling. Knowing that 6 containers of 20 feet of 2 T each and 1 container of 40 feet of 3.4 T were reused, the emission of more than 21 T of CO2 is avoided.


Reproductibility and Innovation

    The reuse of materials has been part of the Hangar Zero program since the genesis of the project. It will integrate within its walls a circular economy incubator, giving concrete expression to the motto "one person's waste is another person's resources". Among the future residents of the place, there is the PERMAC reuse BET (Platform for the Exchange and Reuse of Construction Materials) and the architecture firm Archipel Zéro, all of whose projects include a significant part of reuse. Many exhibitors from the Hangar Zero shop create artworks and everyday objects with materials saved from the dump. Le Havre de Vers, specialist in vermi-composting, will work in close collaboration with the aquaponics center and the Hangar Zero restaurant to establish a virtuous loop in a closed circuit in situ. Finally, all the machines will be present in the shared workshops to repair and extend the life of all everyday objects.

    In line with these principles, the work is of course carried out with the aim of integrating as many local reused materials as possible. We have also taken care to relax the regulatory framework as much as possible. For this, the number of visitors is limited to 200 people, only on the ground floor. The height of the highest low floor is less than 8 m, and there are no sleeping quarters and only the labor code is applicable on the floors.

    Hangar Zero was and remains PERMAC's pilot project, with indoor and outdoor storage spaces, and for which a permanent watch allows to supply the resource needs.

    The Hangar Zero cooperative employs 3 full-time people, combining all the skills of the building: structural work, carpentry, carpentry, metalwork, electricity, plumbing-heating, coatings. This team of professionals supervises a team of volunteers and people in integration of up to fifteen people and can project themselves on deconstruction sites, identified by PERMAC, in order to collect the materials necessary for the work of Hangar Zero.

    For Frédéric Denise and his Archipel Zéro agency, Hangar Zero is a territory of experimentation in which they seek to innovate in the use of materials, and more particularly those that are difficult to re-use, for economic or aesthetic reasons, or materials not recyclable. Their goal is to change practices. Also, they share the solutions by describing the processes, or by distributing them during participatory projects open to all.

    The works being carried out in participatory self-construction, they cannot benefit from a ten-year guarantee. Only structural, enclosed and covered work carried out by companies is insured under a ten-year guarantee. The work carried out by the Hangar Zero teams concerns the finishing work, and will be repaired by self-construction if necessary.

    This integrated organization, with MOA, MOE, and site personnel working together for the same project, carrying values and innovations, offers a lot of operational freedom. However, the choice was made to entrust SOCOTEC with a mission of technical control, whereas no obligation obliged us to do so. We made this choice out of rigor and to accompany us with validations with a view to their replication.

    Today, after more than two years of self-construction with reused materials, we realize several things :

    • Our storage capacity is exceeded! We are now sometimes forced to drop off materials at a Recycling Center, which is a failure for us! This stems from the initial desire to save everything from the dump, and the attraction for an integral approach, pushing us to store everything. Now our principle is to keep only what we have an immediate or planned need for.
    • Taken by time, we do not write the processes enough to transmit them. We sometimes do it a posteriori, when it really seems necessary to us. A more systematic procedure should be required, leaving nothing in the dark. This may be done later, when the volume and urgency of the work will be less restrictive.



    During the work, a recycling center was created on the site.

    Indeed, windows, cobblestones, metal beams and other materials are stored directly on the project plot. Some of these materials will be used, while others have (unfortunately) not been able to be used due to problems of insurance, standards or too complex implementation. The downside is that it takes up a lot of space and you can't develop that outer part of the land until the materials have been used, resold or donated.

Social economy

    The synergy of the place does not simply consist in organizing the good neighborliness of the tenants. One of the major foundations of the project consists in promoting by all means social inclusion, professional integration, cooperation, pooling and mutual assistance between all the actors of the ecosystem in order to create synergies conducive to the collective intelligence, the deployment of new projects, creativity and the invention of new forms of meaningful entrepreneurship.

Reasons for participating in the competition(s)

Hangar Zero is a place dedicated to the circular economy. The work is carried out as much as possible with reused materials to serve as a pilot project. To reuse materials, we combine recycled materials (corks, paper, cardboard, plastic, etc.) and locally sourced and minimally processed organic/geo materials such as wood, straw and raw earth. We seek innovation in the use of these materials, in order to disseminate new low-tech practices.

Today, Hangar Zero opened a first phase of work, which will be followed by other phases, which will be delivered at the end of 2022 and all at the end of 2023.

Green Solutions Awards 2022-2023 / France

 circular economy
 materials and solutions
 Circular Buildings Trophies 2022
 renewable energies

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    Green Solutions Awards 2022-2023 / France