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The refurbishment of the school complex Paul Arène in Sisteron (Dpt. 04 south of France) where about 1400 school children and college students are studying has been a long term project due to the complexity of the challenge for the architect MICHEL PERRIN DESA, from Château-Arnoux (04) and for the owner, PACA Regional council (Marseille)., combining thermic insulation, protection of the local wildlife and controlled budget.
Choice was made for an external cladding in natural Robinia (false acacia) which is a rot-proof timber particularly suitable for southern France climate.
In addition of the wish to prevent fungal and biological treatment, some of the facades were covered by full stave boards, in order to avoid disturbing the living colonies of local mammals and birds with any possible harmful chemicals like resin, solvent, glue, etc…
Most of the walls have been however cladded with finger jointed boards with straight rabbet, which is perfectly suitable for the horizontal laying chosen by the architect and achieved by the contractor ECO Construction Bois in Peyruis (04).
Finally, to perfect the aesthetic and the insulation, the architect’s choice went for Robinia laminated sunshields, with 27 x 180 mm boards with 30° beveled edges, which have been manufactured in the second transformation workshop of the Sawmill Grouazel as well.