chateau eau

The Saint Méloir-des-Ondes water tower and biodiversity

Eiffage Group

Protecting and integrating biodiversity into our constructions remains a priority for Eiffage, as proven by the new water tower at Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes in Brittany, located east of Saint Malo.


Teams from Eiffage Génie Civil built this 37.60 m high water tower, which has a diameter of 9 m on the ground and 18 m at the top, so as to accommodate local wildlife.

Nesting boxes for peregrine falcons and common kestrels were included at the summit of the structure and around the acroteria.
And further down the structure, common swifts can find their nesting boxes below the tank.

Au milieu de l’ouvrage, sous le réservoir ce sont des nichoirs pour martinets noirs.

Holes have also been made for bats, not only so they can hibernate without being disturbed but also to provide appropriate conditions for reproduction.
The foot of the structure has been developed to accommodate three different species of bird: tits, wagtails and house sparrows.

The French Bird Protection League (LPO) will inspect the water tower once a year and check how many birds and bats are in residence. They will also empty any colonised nesting boxes in winter so new nests can be set up the following year. 

Thanks to the preparation undertaken by the teams at the Eiffage Génie Civil Hydraulics & Reservoirs agency for this project, the Brittany branch of LPO Agir pour la Biodiversité (“take action for biodiversity”) was able to carry out an environmental assessment identifying local animal species. This enabled teams to define how to develop the site accordingly – i.e., targeting the right species and correctly positioning their nesting boxes on the water tower. It also ensured an optimal application of the Avoid, Mitigate, Offset approach.

Biodiversity are engineering structures are compatible when solutions are prepared upstream and applied throughout the project.
That’s why Eiffage renewed its partnership with the LPO in February 2020, in order to continue protecting biodiversity by carrying out ever greater numbers of virtuous actions for the environment.