Fontainebleau Aqueduct

The renovation of an aqueduct which brings up to 140 000 m3 water per day to Paris.

Map of France

Fontainebleau, Paris region
Eau de Paris - Direction de l'Ingénierie et du Patrimoine & Associés Architectes

Issues and stakes

The aqueduct was built by Eugene Belgrand, an engineer of "Ponts et Chaussées" (road and bridges) 140 years ago, between 1867 and 1875 during the period of renovation in Paris directed by Baron Haussmann. Its main component was a concrete made with a low ratio of cement which means that it is very porous. The main difficulty was finding a product which would match the existing coating. Some renovations had been made over the last two centuries, but it was very uneven and not homogeneous at all. A consultant department evaluated the quality of the construction, area by area, to determine what had to be done to this listed historical monument. Two masonry companies were asked to do the coating work. It was essential to monitor progress because both of them had to work on a 1-kilometre section of the aqueduct in the very same manner so not to have differences in the final rendering.


Two solutions were found for the renovation work. The first one was to carry out a general reinforcement of the building using a micro-concrete application, spraying using the dry method. But the option which was finally adopted was to remove the previous repair work and try to work with the original material. weber.mep plus (lime-based undercoat render) was the perfect solution because its lime and cement composition is close to the composition of the original concrete.

As for the colour, the architect chose one which fits with the Fontainebleau sandy colour. The mechanical spraying solution was required because there was a large surface to cover, and the product used was both smooth enough not to grip the building’s coating and resistant enough, with its combination of two products containing cement, to be strong and perennial. Thanks to this mechanical application, and the good coordination and involvement of the companies, it was possible to speed up the project from 3 to 2 years. Therefore, this solution would be ideal for the future renovation of other parts of the aqueduct.