Building in wood is winning market share in France, and there is still great potential for the future. For this reason, Swedish Wood has created a new network for information about wood, together with CODIFAB, the French industry organisation for the development of the wood industry.
"We are aiming primarily at architects, structural engineers, contractors and clients, and we already have over 400 members," says Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, Communications Manager and International Project Manager of Swedish Wood.
The network, called "Club Oui au bois" (the Yes to Wood Club) is part of the Bois.com campaign run by Swedish Wood and CODIFAB. Held in Paris on 24 June, the first network activity was a seminar, consisting of presentations about building in wood by architects and structural engineers, as well as study visits.
"The response has been fantastic - we are seeing a constant stream of new members. During the autumn, we will be holding similar events at five locations around France," says Charlotte Dedye Apelgren.
Building has been at a relatively low level in France over the last few years. Figures from CODIFAB show that detached house building fell by 14 per cent from 2011 to 2012. However, for detached houses built in wood, the decline was less steep, at approximately 9 per cent, indicating that wood has been winning market share.
The most recent figures for the market as a whole are for 2012. During that year, 12 per cent of new detached houses and 5 per cent of apartment buildings were made of wood. The biggest market share, 24 per cent, was in the agricultural building segment. "Traditionally, there has not been much building in wood in France, but the trend is moving the right way. We hope to see building getting going again in earnest, so that we too can see increased volume," says Jan Söderlind, International Director of Swedish Wood.
During 2013, France imported 2.6 million cubic metres of softwood products, approximately 370,000 cubic metres of which came from Swedish sawmills. Almost three quarters, 72 per cent, of Swedish exports to France are of spruce timber, with pine making up just over a quarter, at 28 per cent.
"This is a market that can definitely grow. The use of wood in France is only about a third per capita of the level in Sweden," says Jan Söderlind.
Swedish Wood has been active in France since 2004. During this period, it has worked on a number of projects for increasing the use of wood, together with CODIFAB, forest owner associations and other domestic organisations.
Charlotte Dedye Apelgren, Communications Manager and International Project Manager
Mob: 070-661 78 81
Jan Söderlind, International Director
Mob: 070-211 04 22