Case Study

Dedicated to product maturation

Renowned worldwide for its confectionery, the Ferrero group, founded after the Second World War, established one of its major production sites in Normandy at the end of the 1950s, to the north of Rouen and on the edge of the Boucles-de-la-Seine Regional Natural Park.

Through its worldwide growth and expansion, over the decades this firm of Italian origin has become an international group. Its first French site, in the town of Villers-Écalles, now exports 33% of its output across Europe, and this is the location of the world‘s leading production plant for one of the Group‘s flagship products: Nutella.

A site subject to constraints

The new automated warehouse was built on this historic site. Located on a plot characterised by a one-metre difference in level in respect of rue Pietro Ferrero, crossed by a natural spring that had to be channelled, it is notable for the close proximity of a motorway viaduct. The project combined the constraints of the flood risk prevention plan in respect of the Austreberthe and Saffimbec catchment basin in which it is located, and those of an  environmentally sensitive facility.

The presence of nearby dwellings also required particular attention to the noise level generated by the activity, in particular lorry movements assessed at a maximum of thirty per day.

In addition to this technical data, environmental integration was one of the requirements with regard to the inhabitants of the neighbouring houses and the location’s natural features. Despite the great height of the new building, a relatively moderate visual impact was sought. The automated warehouse incorporates a “temperature-controlled storage unit”, to which are attached a traditional despatch building and plant rooms, as well as offices and social facilities on two floors. 4-hour (EI 240) and 2-hour (EI 120) fire walls separate the various parts, which have differing construction methods: metal structure for the storage unit, concrete for the other two, the whole being  covered by steel roof panels with insulation and weatherproofing.

Villers-Écalles, France

Project location

Ferrero Plant

The initial idea was that the upper part of the building would be toned down in order to mitigate its effect.

Bernard Gaud

Architect, AFA
Stone wool insulated sandwich panels required for this building:
  • 820 m² of Vulcastell Wall FC 80 mm
  • 9,550 m² of Vulcastell Wall FC 120 mm, EI 60 fire resistance
  • 510 m² of Vulcastell Wall FC 200 mm, EI 180 fire resistance

All were produced using ROCKWOOL stone wool insulation.

Graphic rendering of stone wool sandwich panels

Project Data

Client Ferrero
Project manager AFA Architects (core mission)
Consulting Engineer Artelia Bâtiment et industrie
Contractors Eiffage (main); Face (assembly)
Sandwich panel supplier Joris Ide
Main contractor Eiffage Construction
Sandwich panel installation contractor Face
Surface area 6,430 m² floor area
Timescale 2016-2019