Batinfo: Can you summarize the history of JDM Expert for us?
Denis Joandel: JDM Expert has existed for 15 years and is present in metropolitan France, in the DOM-TOMs, in Switzerland and in Belgium. In 2007, I had the idea of creating Hydro'way, a floor covering made up of translucent glue and quarry gravel that lets water through. After two years of R&D, we have chosen to distribute this product through a national network of dealers.
Hydro'way had mainly a decorative vocation with our 14 colors since at the time, we only worked on the general public market, for creations or renovations of swimming pool decks, terraces, car parks, etc...
For about 5 years, we have brought our skills in terms of coating to local authorities in the face of growing demand linked to the Climate and Resilience law. This obliges communities to lower the temperature of city centers, which involves the color of the soil, and to infiltrate water, which has been my specialty for 15 years. We were regularly consulted by municipalities wanting, for example, to renovate schoolyards, which have been made of concrete for decades, to transform them into resilient courtyards, such as the "oasis courtyards" in France where the facilities allow children to less hot and water from seeping in. Today we do about fifty school lessons a year. The advantage of our coating is that we can remove the bitumen, reshape the ground to set up our solution, heavy and light vehicles can drive on it and we can even paint over it to put hopscotch or markings For example. Another area where our permeable soil comes in handy is for cemeteries. Maintaining cemeteries is often a tedious task due to the many corners to maintain and the prohibition on using phytosanitary products. Our coating only lets the rain through and not the fibres, so there's no need to remove the weeds with a hoe.
We are therefore integrated into the municipalities because the management of water and its preservation are now major issues of our time. Starting as a decorative solution, we have become a real environmental and administrative solution for local authorities.
Batinfo: Where is JDM Expert today?
Denis Joandel: Currently we are 30 in the company, for 12 agencies in France and 130 authorized dealers on French territory. But we are in full expansion and we are currently recruiting many technical, commercial and shipyard profiles to meet the massive increase in demand.
Everyone is now confronted with this problem of water management and on the French market, we don't really have a direct competitor. In front of us there are obviously porous concretes but these are solutions which do not always age well, which do not support the vibrations of vehicles and which are not multicolored like us.
At the environmental level, we also try to develop our materials to consume as little energy as possible and we are very sensitive to the treatment of waste.
Batinfo: What are the next projects for JDM Expert?
Denis Joandel: We have two big plans for 2023. The first is centered around coating. We have just released Eco'Urba, a brand new technical system which is complementary to Hydro'way. This is the first coating that you can do yourself. This aqueous phase biosourced coating will be delivered to professionals and town halls. Ideal for small surfaces and completely natural, we already have 7 references.
The second project is in connection with our Le Padel Français brand, which makes it possible to create resilient sports grounds. The courts that we create with Le Padel Français have a particularity: we no longer dig the ground to install a padel court but only place it using a patented chassis system. The floors are obviously covered by our Hydro'way solution on which we mount the structure. The advantage is that our padels are removable and infinitely recyclable in addition to not artificializing the soil. The goal is to limit our ecological footprint as much as possible by limiting waste in the design of the padel and by standardizing the remanufacturing of the next padel. In this line, we are also working on padel courts that are self-sufficient in energy via photovoltaic panels.
In addition, as our padels are removable and transportable, we offer them for hire in order to meet everyone's needs.