Logo pavillon de l'Arsenal
Prototype July 2018

ZEF - Zero Energy Furniture Mobilier

Jean-Sébastien Lagrange and Raphaël Ménard

ZEF The objective is to have a new prototype by autumn 2017 that will help an office save 60% in heating needs and 30% in cooling needs.

The objective is to have a new prototype by autumn 2017 that will help an office save 60% in heating needs and 30% in cooling needs.

What if furniture played a role?
While energy saving is recognized as essential, design and smaller scales often take a back seat. What if furniture participated in this?
How can energy saving integrate furniture rather than just the building?

The ZEF program
Jean-Sébastien Lagrange, designer and Raphaël Ménard, architect and engineer, came together for this research: to see how multidisciplinary convergence could handle this problem and provide rational, viable and user-friendly solutions.

Its purpose: design simple, effective, coherent ZEF (Zero Energy Furniture) validated objects. ZEF has a didactic intention: what if the object participated in the mediation between the use and its necessary energy? And what if the design revealed a sensitivity to "true frugality" ? The objects in the ZEF program will be voluntarily passive, made of simple, easily separable materials: energy and comfort mustn’t overpower the other crisis, that of materials.

The Climatic Table, ZEF’s first furniture
The Climatic Table is the beginning of a range developed by Jean-Sébastien Lagrange and Raphaël Ménard. This table has a very strong thermal inertia, despite its finesse. The secret: materials with encapsuled phase change (MCP or PCM) between its wooden surface and its aluminium, anodized underside. The ondulated geometry of the metal’s underside favours thermal exchange between the environment and the inertia contained in the table. In the case of desks for example, they help increase the comfort level of buildings with low inertia, enabling energy savings of about 60% in heating needs and more than 30 % in cooling needs. For housing, this furniture has regulating virtues and allows improved comfort in the summer. Momentary overheating is absorbed by the furniture and distributed later, when the temperature of the room is more clement.

An existing prototype to be tested
By basing itself on this technology, a "Climatic Table" was designed and a prototype made with financing from VIA in 2014 and 2015.

Stage 1. Testing the Climatic Table at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal
In first research phase, the prototype will be tested in real conditions at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, while presenting their initiative and approach. Temperature sensors and probes will be arranged on the table and in its environment to analyse thermal interactions.

Stage 2. Increase the experiment across Paris
After carrying out several tests and having measured the thermal properties of the table, they suggest widening the territories of experiment by building ten pieces of ZEF furniture to be tested in representative situations across Paris.

Project realized by Jean-Sébastien Lagrange, designer and Raphaël Ménard, architect and engineer


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