The Grand Paris Express (GPE) is a transport and development project that has been designed to make suburb-to-suburb travel easier and faster, without necessarily having to pass through Paris itself. The project is being managed by Société du Grand Paris, which was created in 2010.
Sixty-eight stations are being built and 200 km of track laid, most of it underground. Société du Grand Paris decided to commission individual architects to design each station, making all of them unique. Eighty percent of the stations will be connected to the existing network (metro, RER, Transilien and tramway) and relieve it. The project will also generate new urban, real-estate and landscaping developments around the stations (more than 180 urban projects in total). This new metro service will open in phases until 2030.
Efectis’ involvement in the Grand Paris Express project
The complexity of the Grand Paris Express project – ranging from the decision to develop unique stations, the creation of kilometres of underground inter-stations and the creation of connections with the existing rail network, to related buildings, like maintenance, parking and infrastructure sites – meant that Société du Grand Paris soon found itself faced with the challenge of defining the fire safety of its structures. Added to this, the sheer scale of the projects and associated development work made it necessary for numerous teams and entities to work on the design. Against this backdrop, Société du Grand Paris quickly launched a call for tenders for a project management-assistance mission with regard to fire safety and, more specifically, smoke extraction, to ensure that design project managers were developing the projects in line with the safety objectives set out in the GPE programme and validated against the CTCSC (Consultative Technical Committee for Civil Protection) of the Paris Defense and Security Zone.
Efectis is providing its expertise in respect of the following:
- Support and expert advice
- The application of safety regulations
- The analysis of evacuation conditions for people with reduced mobility and disabilities
- The analysis of smoke management in complex multi-level underground buildings with connections to inter-stations
- Fire scenarios and the 3D modelling of fire evolution in its environment
- The 3D modelling of fire behaviour structures
- The fire testing of specific products like interior facades
The project includes various discussions with the construction industry:
- Société du Grand Paris
- Project management teams
- Fire and rescue services (the Paris fire brigade, departmental fire and rescue services 77, 78, 91 and 75)
- Safety architects
- Laboratoire Central de la Préfecture de Police
- CTCSC of the Paris Defense and Security Zone
Efectis has been involved in the Grand Paris Express project since 2015. Its activities include those listed below:
On behalf of the project owner:
- Validating a generic design for the smoke-extraction system in underground stations, coupled with equipment for connected inter-stations for typical stations (54 to 108-m trains)
- Drawing up a guidance note on the selection and characterisation of fire scenarios
- Drawing up a specific protocol for the verification of the aeraulic measurements required before stations are put into service, in order to meet both the Société du Grand Paris programme and the authorities’ expectations
- Helping Société du Grand Paris to verify that the studies and work carried out by the various project managers responsible for smoke-ventilation design are in line with regulatory and programmatic expectations
- Carrying out smoke-control-engineering studies as an authorised body (Organisme Reconnu Compétent, ORC) of the Ministry of the Interior for specific stations, at the request of the authorities or the project owner (Villejuif Institut Gustave Roussy station, Noisy Champs station, Saint-Denis Pleyel station and La Courneuve station, etc.)
- Validating the main principles of product and system implementation
- Assisting Société du Grand Paris in all discussions with authorities on the subject of fire safety, in particular safety commissions and the CTCSC of the Paris Defense and Security Zone
On behalf of (principal) contractors:
- Validating a generic design for smoke-control systems in underground stations, coupled with connected inter-station equipment
- Carrying out smoke-control-engineering studies as an authorised body (Organisme Reconnu Compétent, ORC) of the Ministry of the Interior for specific stations, at the request of the authorities or the project owner
- Assisting with or verifying aeraulic measurements on various structures, in line with the generic test protocol
- Validating the implementation of products or systems by means of on-site reporting or expert opinions on smoke control, fire resistance and reaction to fire, etc.
All the work started in 2015 is still in progress and will continue until the stations and infrastructures are operational, bearing in mind that some of them need to be operational on time for the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.
For further information, please contact: Pascal van Hulle