France - François-Mauriac middle school in Saint-Symphorien (southwest France)
France - François-Mauriac middle school in Saint-Symphorien (southwest France) - © VINCI and subsidiaries

Wood – strong, lightweight, fire resistant and above all environmentally friendly – lends itself to building. Bit by bit, VINCI Construction is acquiring the skills needed to include the material in its projects.

The market has emerged in recent years
The Regional Manager of Arbonis, the wood sector within VINCI Construction France, is unhesitatingly optimistic. When Atlanbois polled 144 contractors in September 2010, 49% of the respondents said that demand for wood frame houses had increased between September 2009 and September 2010. More than 60% said there had been an increase in the demand for wood in extensions and second storey additions, multi-family houses and exterior renovations. Lastly, 52% of the respondents said they were taking more interest in public procurement contracts.

Public authorities have given wood a boost
Ten years ago, the government and the industry signed the Plan Bois Construction Environnement (wood construction environment plan), in which they undertook to increase the proportion of wood used in construction. In March 2010, the minimum threshold was increased ten-fold to 20 cubic decimetres of wood per square metre of floor area in buildings for which a building permit application is filed after 1 December 2010. Above all, the law of 3 August 2009 implementing the Grenelle Environment Round Table calls for all new buildings to be low energy by 2012 and positive energy by 2020. This policy is reflected in the RT 2012 (thermal) regulation, which paves the way for low energy buildings, and the RT 2020 regulation, which marks the advent of passive buildings. The latter will not only consume no energy, they will even be able to produce it.