Timber takes the gold!

“The 2024 Olympic Games looks set to be a great advertisement for timber building”

When you think of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, what comes to mind? Excellence? Triumph over adversity? Global cooperation? In 2024, the answer might be “timber”. That’s thanks to an initiative called the France Bois 2024 (FB2024) – an alliance formed in 2018 to drive the use of wood building in the Paris Olympic village. At present, estimates are that 50% of it will be constructed from timber.

FB2024 president Georges-Henri Florentin recently explained to French publication Moniteur: “We can’t yet make a precise assessment of the quantity of timber involved, but the Olympic village should mobilise 20,000 to 40,000m3. Solideo [the Olympics construction delivery authority] has set a target for 30% of this to be French, but the industry hopes to increase that to 50%.”

He added that the project wouldn’t just give the French timber industry a much-needed boost, and showcase wood’s value on a global stage. It would also lead to innovation in timber engineering and building, and contribute to the trade sector’s education:

“Great efforts are also needed to train construction workers more accustomed to concrete building in new practices suited to wood,” he said “FB2024 has launched an industry club to support training for the range of building personnel, from carpenters and façade workers to plumbers and electricians.”

To ensure that the timber used is high-quality and sustainably sourced, FB2024 has created a triple-certification scheme, meaning every piece of timber used has been certified by either PEFC, French Wood, or the FSC (the last of which Quercus also uses to guarantee its own supply of timber meets the highest standard). Ultimately, in much the same way as the UK, there is a hope that timber can become a larger part of the French construction industry. Florentin said:

“Currently, wood-based building accounts for just 10% of construction in France, compared to levels around 20% in other northern European countries. With at least 50% of buildings in the athletes’ village in wood, and other games structures too, it will be a formidable showcase for the know-how of our timber construction industry. It is improving co-ordination in the sector and will encourage more general uptake of wood building, helping give it critical mass. In turn this will contribute to implementation of the national low carbon strategy and boost the value of French forest capital.”

Even if your next project isn’t quite as ambitious as the Olympic Games, it can benefit from using great timber. Give Quercus a call on 0845 50 50 311 and let us help you pick the right material for the job.