Eco²Campus Microville Durable 🇫🇷

Microville112 is a forward-looking living-lab at the scale of a neighbourhood/village using, as a starting point, a Totem third place “Eco²Campus Microville Durable”, in the centre of a former military airbase (~40 buildings, 55 000 m², on 90 ha) that will be fully renovated as a Climate Neutral and Smart City in the next 5 years.


The Microville112 renovation project aims to showcase solutions for climate-neutral renovation of educational buildings, neighbourhoods, and villages using a community-based learning process rooted in climate education.

As engaging the local community is the first step, the ECO²-Campus will have 3 stages:


  1. Temporary use of existing buildings and surrounding spaces

  2. A climate-neutral renovation process to create a worksite-school

  3. Extension to the ~40 surrounding buildings on Microville112 (55000 m²/65 ha) with a capitalization-dissemination in Grand Reims/Région Grand Est area (+ national-crossborder, European network of pilots and follower schools, cities/villages networks). 

The aim is for the Microville112  ECO²-Campus to reach its full scale within no more than 5 years and for the next generation “educational third place” to become a cross-border shared expertise, documentation, and learning centre, starting the “Eco² Schools as New European Bauhaus Labs” network in 6 climate-cultural cross-border regions (for Microville112 : France-Belgium-Netherlands-Luxemburg-Germany-Switzerland). 

Organisations involved

PARTNERS: AS&E, SCIC Microville112, multistakeholders partnership will be defined in October 2023 by a first public communication and official engagement of first contributors and sponsors.

Sector: Primary/Secondary/Tertiary/Lifelong Education

District buildings portfolio: Green Neighbourhood Third Place, a ~40 buildings/55000 m2/65 ha former Military Airbase being renovated in 5 years as a Sustainable Microcity (Microville Durable®), learning-action living lab for neighbourhoods and villages in transition, at 3 generations.

Target groups: Building owners and users, municipality, schools/universities/educational third places communities, R&D teams, public/private institutions, best innovative efficiency solutions providers with zero marginal cost and common shared added value.


Main Characteristics & Motivation

Eco² Campus Microville 112 (initiated by AS&E) is an open cooperative educational place, located in the centre of the renovation process of former a Military Airbase, BA112, in Courcy, Grand Reims (FR). 

As a previous military airbase that has been closed for 10 years, Microville 112 is a unique pilot site, as there is no existing school running on the site. Therefore Alliance Sens & Economie has organised preliminary contacts and 3 co-design workshops that progressively involve a community of stakeholders (public, private, universities, research teams, and permanent education stakeholders) to assist in the challenge of planning for the reuse of a former military building that will be renovated as a central “Totem place” and first demonstrative facility (1962 m² on two level, 16 classes, each 69,3 m² / 11,3 m x6,1 m). This educational third place will interact with the former workshop building “Maître Ouvrier” which will host residency artists (633,4 m², ~16 rooms/artists cells), and a green courtyard in between the buildings, that will host creative exhibitions as outdoor class workshop activities. On the south facade, the neighbouring historical “Command building” on the Place d’Armes is intended to become a “New European Bauhaus cultural centre” and central meeting place in the heart of Microville112.


The History of the Eco² Campus Microville 112 

The villages surrounding the military base have built values of cultural openness and cooperative support shared by 3 generations through the survival of 2 world wars. In 2008, the Military Airbase was definitively closed, causing the population of the surrounding villages to decrease by half. The site has now been closed for 10 years, but the buildings are in a good state and nature has taken root with high-value adapted biodiversity areas.

The community and Village Council of Courcy has since made a commitment to develop a new forward-looking vision of their heritage, as a high-potential revival project with positive value for the site and the surrounding territory. Consequently, a high-level voluntary partnership was initiated with Alliance Sens & Economie, for a systemic renovation of the existing buildings/infrastructure/natural site with the support of a dedicated collective interest cooperative called “SCIC foncière Microville112”. This non-profit cooperative was created in December 2021. 

The property was transmitted from the French State Military Domain to the village of Courcy, initiating SCIC Microville112, and a process has been initiated to facilitate the installation of new occupants in transitional use of existing buildings through cooperative development by connecting with investors/project leaders. This is being achieved via attractive leasing with compensation as a cooperative investment in the commons instead of selling plots of land.

The Eco² Campus project

The Eco² Campus project was initiated in 2022, as a central “Totem place” and the first demonstrative facility. Using a pair of existing buildings for creating a multi-stakeholder cooperative “worksite-school”, systemic change scalable methods and high efficiency/low resource methods were applied to showcase innovative solutions for the Smart Climate Neutral renovation of Microville112. The aim is that this will become a systemic learning-action living-lab for the 30-minute territory of the Grand Reims urban area, and inspire other neighbourhoods/villages in France and the EU. The building will showcase prominent low-carbon renovation solutions, that will be upscaled to the whole Microville112 site as a Green Neighbourhood Campus and systemic renovation living-lab.


About the buildings

The ~40 existing buildings (5 main periods 1900, 1920, 1950, 1970, 1990 and different typologies) are generally supplied with thermal energy, electricity, water, and sanitation (5 district heating oil-fired  collective boilers, 1 wastewater treatment plant, 2 high voltage transformers,…). Half of the buildings have been retrofitted with double-glazed PVC windows and insulated internally. The roofs are mostly in good condition, though there are sloping roofs, non-habitable attics, and wood and metal structures. Walls consist of brick, natural stone, cement plaster, composite wood, metal, and insulated sandwich panels. The buildings are mainly oriented north-south with 2 main façades exposed to the natural daylight and sun.

Microville112 concept description

The planned intervention on ECO²-Campus Microville112 is a systemic climate neutral renovation project that will be implemented in two phases:


Phase 1) Transitional Occupation: Build a multistakeholder commitment as a community (start to do things together with 4 test activities), codesign, and learn by creating a climate-neutral renovation action plan.


Phase 2) Lighthouse demonstrative renovation project: a real-scale worksite-school, scalable proof of concept for the renovation of ~40 buildings.


A dual Energy Thermal and Electric daylight best-performance solar installation will be implemented to replace the central heat network that was using fuel oil (and is now out of function). This installation will be directly connected to the existing radiators to use direct sun at low temperatures, with possible reversibility from mild hot (in the winter) to mild cold (in the summer). This is to be achieved by developing a horizontal heat/cold conversion and storage infrastructure, that can extend to the next buildings through a  progressive microgrid cooperative investment.


Natural bioclimatic ventilation aims to achieve a low-tech retrofitting strategy using the capacity of the natural air, soil temperature, shaded and sunny façade with smart protection, plants and rain-water collection to create an optimal indoor climate for building users.


The former military troop ‘materials maintenance workshop’ is being transformed into a residency hosting artist studios, with a common external exhibition and training court. This will open opportunities for synergies with the ECO²-Campus learning-action activities, and the cultural dimension at the heart of Microville112 (living exhibition-events welcome building on the “place d’Armes”), a cultural café-library, and local cooking experimental canteen, a sculptures exhibition courtyard protected by a solar canopy, and a guest house for visiting researchers, experts, and artists.


The 2 existing buildings will be interconnected with a large-scale Bamboo Extension 4 seasons Greenhouse. This carbon-neutral construction will form part of the “worksite-school” process.

There will be offered opportunities to codesign this next-generation building combining the best efficiency bio-sourced and smart circular technologies such as:

  • Locally cultivated negative carbon bamboo material 

  • A green roof with integrated rainwater storage

  • Grey water treatment with a bamboo filtering installation combined with an aquaponic basin

  • Natural roof ventilation

  • Parietodynamic recycled window glass façade, and a low energy daylight optimized facility.


This co-design will at the same time create opportunities for collaboration with experienced craftsmen and creative artists.

Upcoming Events

Scroll to Top