Timber Construction Magazine Issue 12 Summer 2020

Page 8


French timber stands tall A new hybrid timber and concrete tower is under construction in

the built environment – not only in France but in the UK and across the

Bordeaux and could prove to be symbolic of France’s commitment

world – is to build more durable structures using higher quantities of

to using structural timber. Hypérion will be a mixed scheme of

sustainable timber. The Hypérion tower is the perfect example of how

apartments offices and shops, designed by architect Jean-Paul

this can be achieved.”

Viguier and built by Eiffage Immobilier using structural HEXAPLI cross laminated timber (CLT) supplied by Piveteaubois.

France recently made a progressive, sustainable construction move, with President Emmanuel Macron stating that any new public buildings

Hypérion will be the tallest timber residential tower built in France

financed by the French state, must contain 50% wood or other natural

and is situated at the centre of the Saint-Jean Belcier district of Bordeaux,

materials by 2022. As well as timber and wood-based material, this can

that is undergoing regeneration and a vast urban renewal programme

also include options such as hemp and straw and any organic material

including the construction of a new TGV (high speed train) station.

that has a significantly lower embodied carbon footprint, compared to

Eiffage Immobilier are building the 16-storey tower, with a floor

competing construction materials such as concrete and steel.

area of 17,000sqm, including 5,000sqm of timber flooring. The

The proposal aligns with France’s Sustainable City plan launched

82-apartment building will be constructed around a concrete core with

in 2009, and President Emmanuel Macron’s drive for the country to

engineered wood floors supported by a timber beam structure. The

be carbon-neutral by 2050. As well as an ambitious government plan

shell will consist of locally-manufactured, fully-finished timber framed

for a greener urban life, the country and Paris in particular is under the

walls. Taking its name from the largest tree in the world, the Hypérion

spotlight as the host of the 2024 Olympics. The new law encourages

timber tower is 55m high and comprises 1100m3 of CLT and 130m3

the use of ‘bio-based’ materials in the construction of the 2024 Paris

of glulam with the building’s backbone built using HEXAPLI CLT from

Olympics complex, with any building in the development rising more


than eight storeys to be built entirely from timber. The proposal hopes to

With high volumes of material required and the primary aim to use

make the 2024 Paris Olympic Games the most sustainable Olympics yet.

locally sourced timber, Eiffage Immobilier turned to Piveteaubois as

Speaking to Le Figaro, French Minister for Cities and Housing

the only serious contender with production of 50,000m3 of engineered

Julien Denormandie said: “We made this commitment for the Olympic

timber per year and 50,000m3 capacity for CLT production – exclusively

Games. There is no reason why what is possible for the Olympic Games

in French timber. The Hypérion tower is set to save 14.7 tonnes of

should not be possible for everyday construction.” Denormandie’s plans

carbon emissions per apartment, an amount equivalent to that released

to make France’s construction industry more sustainable, follows a

by a small car covering 206,000km in urban conditions.

number of other eco-friendly initiatives in recent months in response

“We are very proud to be involved with this landmark project and

to the growing effects of climate change, including Parisian plans to

supplying HEXAPLI CLT,” said Elisabeth Piveteau-Boley, Director UK &

go greener by planting ‘urban forests’ around its many architectural

Ireland, Piveteaubois. “The Douglas fir used for the CLT is all sourced


locally and being PEFC-certified is guaranteed to be from legal and More at  www.piveteaubois.com

sustainable forests. The only way to achieve the decarbonisation of

Timber Construction Magazine

Summer 2020



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