Synergy describes the result that occurs when elements are combined to produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual parts. It is also the perfect word to describe what happened when the technical achievements of Alain Brouillard were combined with the artistic and marketing talents of Benoit Barré. The result of their combined effort is a new generation of homes combining classic European architecture with very modern materials.
Brouillard owned a company that made concrete bases for lampposts. He began searching for new and innovative products to make with concrete. One possibility he explored was insulated concrete panels for residential housing. He ultimately developed a method of making modular panels with an interior and exterior surface of concrete and a core of pink extruded polystyrene rigid insulation from Owens Corning.
Meanwhile, Barré had a vision for a new type of home in Quebec. A native of the province, Barré traveled extensively in Continental Europe and fell in love with the architecture of the Loire Region in France. He used his artistic talents to make drawings of exteriors and floor plans. He wanted to market those homes in Canada, but the construction methods used in Europe were prohibitively expensive in North America.
Fate brought the two men together and their ideas were a perfect match. Brouillard and Barré did additional development work before bringing their new residential modular system to market as a product named “Thermopan panels."