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It is important for young people to join the forest and wood sector

Frédéric STAAT, FCBA Technological Institute

  • Can you briefly explain your profession or organizational role as it applies to taller timber buildings?

FCBA is a technological institute, responsible for the forestry, wood, furniture and construction sectors. It promotes technical progress and innovation, contributes to the improvement of performance and quality assurance in the industry, by encouraging an integrated approach and implementation of synergies within the sector. Its activities are grouped around three main areas: 1. Making its know-how and skills available to companies: technology transfer, consultancy, technical assistance, testing, training, information; 2. Supporting the professions so that they can occupy a leading position on national, European and international markets: standardisation, certification, quality, advanced technologies; 3. Acquiring, centralising, managing and disseminating scientific and technical information: research and development, economic, regulatory and technological watch, documentation.

  • What was the pivotal experience that led you to become a timber construction, engineering or design practitioner?

Along with FPInnovations in Canada and also with the support of BRI in Japan, the Technological Institute FCBA was the pioneer of the Woodrise story with the organization of the first international Woodrise Congress in Bordeaux in 2017. During this event FCBA took part to the launching of the Woodrise Alliance, an international R&D organisms group devoted to mid and high risen wooden buildings development. The Alliance was 6 members in the beginning, grew to 13 and now up to 24 members from all the continents and is animated by Frédéric Staat, Timber Industry and Construction at FCBA. FCBA by strongly involving itself within the Woodrise Alliance contributes to the scientist program of Woodrise international events and participates to different R&D projects along with other Woodrise Alliance members.

  • How do you see the construction sector evolving? And how are companies you work with responding to green building, specifically projects using bio-based materials?

The wood construction sector faces three key challenges:

  1. Technological improvements

Considering essential building requirement:

– For all wooden buildings, summer thermal is a important issue with the help of technical solutions such as reinforced ventilation to compensate the structure lightness and the lack of building inertly.

– For multi store timber buildings : specific fire safety regulations have to be implemented as well as dedicated actions to manage low frequencies disturbances as far as acoustics behaviour is concerned (impact noises).

All the corresponding regulations i.e thermic, acoustic and fire safety are national ones even in Europe with the Eurocodes single exception.

The Woodrise Alliance allows to exchange and share information and data on these issues in between countries.


2. Economical competitions

– Another point where progress is expected particularly in countries where timber buildings market share is low is the economical competitivity.

– The statement made here worldwide is the following : the more wood is used as construction material and system, the more the corresponding market offers are competitive.


3. Environmental issues

– The Woodrise Alliance members involve themselves to a decarbonated bioeconomy by promoting wooden constructions worldwide based on sustainable forest products origins.

– The International Woodrise Congresses in Bordeaux 2017, Quebec 2019 and Kyoto 2021 all had technical workshops about forestry resources.

– Different R&D studies performed by Alliance members are dedicated to extend construction timber products to wood or secondary tree species and to improve wooden products life time by reusing them.


  • Do you have any advice for young professionals who want to work in the field?

It is important for young people to join the forest and wood sector which will be a major contributor for tomorrow word bioeconomy.

  • Which mass timber project or renovation fascinates you, and why?

Located in Bordeaux, I will mention three examples FCBA has worked on:

– La Cité du Vin

– Hyperion Tower

– Sylva Tower Project