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Case study

Sustainable growth for L’Oréal

The L’Oréal Hair Research Centre in Paris reflects the company’s dedication to responsible business practice with a self-watering green roof and terraces.
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L’Oréal Hair Research Centre, San Ouen


A place of innovation inside and out

When L’Oréal decided to set up an advanced, new research centre in Saint Ouen, Paris, it was imperative that the building itself encompassed the forward-thinking, responsible ethos of the company. Designed to facilitate the development and creation of new hair products for the future, the building needed to meet the highest standard of sustainable architecture, reflecting it through both its aesthetics and its performance.
L’Oréal Hair Research Centre, San Ouen


Architect Frederic Tomat designed a light and airy structure that minimises the impact of greenhouse gases through various measures, including an innovative self-watering green roof and terrace solution from BMI.

Through the use of our advanced BMI Siplast Wateroof system, we were able to create a durable solution which supports beautiful flora through a simple water-retention system. Nidaroof alveolar plates helped to manage the rate of water flow by providing a stabilising substrate with an integrated honeycomb sheet that temporarily retains rainwater. For effective drainage of unused water, a separating geoface layer (Geoflow 44-1F) was installed between the highly resistant waterproofing membranes and Nidaroof panels. This simple system will help to sustain the green roof and ensures compliance with the strict Parisian water-dispersal regulations.

The vegetation was supplied as a pre-cultivated carpet created by an experienced landscape gardener. This beautiful natural covering was installed over the Wateroof solution on ribbed steel, anti-root, pre-vegetated watertight tanks.

L’Oréal Hair Research Centre, San Ouen


Opened in 2012, L’Oreal Saint-Ouen is now the company’s main research hub, leading development operations across the world. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, the green roof provides a reliable, low-maintenance solution that makes a huge contribution to the building’s overall environmental profile through its excellent thermal performance and ecological water management. Alongside the use of solar energy, it has contributed to the building’s HQE (Haute Qualité Environnementale) certification and has also seen it qualify for Outstanding Sustainable Building certification- a first for any Research Centre.