When construction rhymes with innovationWhether it be high environmental quality, low-energy or smart buildings and now modular construction techniques, in her 10 years at the Bouygues group, Aurélie Cléraux, a manager in the Modular Construction and Innovation department of Bouygues Bâtiment International, has constantly been working to stay one step ahead.
Rising to the challenge of sustainable developmentSince the start of her career at Elan, a subsidiary of Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France, Aurélie has contributed to the emergence of new concepts in the construction sector. She took her first steps in project owner assistance, just as the concept of sustainable development was taking off. "We suddenly went from nobody talking about sustainable construction to people talking about it all the time. One of the exciting challenges in which I was involved was the environmental and energy renovation of Bouygues Construction’s headquarters, the first building in France to obtain triple HQE*, LEED and BREEAM certification."
Industrialising the construction processAfter the enthusiastic adoption of sustainable development, the new buzzword in the construction industry is innovation. A new era with its sights set firmly on industrialisation and digital technology. « The construction sector has been amongst the slowest to adopt industrial methods, but we are now catching up. Modular construction is a response to this challenge, » explains Aurélie, who is currently developing this new construction method.
These « ground-breaking methods within the construction sector » entail prefabricating structures, before assembling them directly on the worksite. The principle is similar to the Lego® we played with as children. « We are in the process of setting up a new activity in which off-site facilities enable us to prefabricate our own structures that we then assemble on site. ».
This will entail the use of innovative technologies in order to build differently and for a lower cost, such as 3D printing, which has already transformed numerous sectors, aerospace being a notable example.
Sharing good practices on a global scaleAurélie believes that Bouygues’ international footprint makes it a leader in this area. « Today we have worldwide visibility on developments, including on the ground thanks to our presence on five continents, particularly in Asia, which is enthusiastically adopting these new techniques. »
*HQE (High Environmental Quality) is the French equivalent of LEED (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design)
and BREEAM (British Research Establishment – Environmental Assessment).
Tomorrow, Colas will be a services company working in project mode
No need to be a star gazer to see the futureThe world of telecommunications is changing constantly. Philippe Kerignard, Innovation manager at Bouygues Telecom, is unlikely to disagree. His job consists of designing the services and products of the future. How? By staying alert to technical evolutions and the competition, while remaining curious and open to taking risks.
Challenging assumptions...In the early 2000s, while working for Bouygues Telecom in Silicon Valley, Philippe witnessed the blending of two separate worlds - that of ‘telcos’ (telecoms companies) and ‘webcos’ (internet companies). "The convergence of telcos and the internet did not proceed entirely smoothly due to the widely divergent cultures. But our contacts with webcos forced us to question our attitudes in order to restructure our organisational methods, our product offers and our way of thinking ".
...in order to innovate!At the head of the Innovation department, Philippe now works with start-ups in a spirit of open innovation, but he is aware of the need to remain vigilant. Today, competition can come from small, highly flexible players who have easy access to powerful technical resources that were impossible to acquire 10 years ago without huge investments. « So many technologies are now easily available: cloud storage, massively parallel processing, big data, the colossal scale of communication made possible by social networks, access to financial resources via crowdfunding, and even Artificial Intelligence. This means that in order to stand out, our technical skills and financial fire power are no longer enough - we have to offer innovative solutions and quickly! ».
Stay curious...This ability to imagine the future requires a particular set of skills that Philippe shares with his team at the company’s Innovation arm. He goes on to clarify: « To do this job, you need a solid level of general technical knowledge, but also a certain intellectual curiosity that goes beyond your own sphere of expertise. You must read a lot, debate, exchange with others and expose your ideas to contradiction, to be open to change while remaining enthusiastic and, above all, passionate about what you’re doing. That is our daily experience!».
...and dare to take crazy risksPhilippe believes that imagining the future is about breaking into new territory, without over-estimating technology in the long term, or under-estimating it in the short term.
This logic led to the birth of the Bbox Miami, the first fully Android-compatible TV box. . A touch of daring was necessary to imagine it might be possible to transform a previously fairly limited Japanese device designed for watching YouTube into a box capable of decoding a TV signal in real time.
« The entire concept was born in the Lab and then developed in start-up mode internally at Bouygues Telecom before finally going to the production phase ».