Tuesday, 17 Jul 2012
Pompidou Centre, Paris.
Building and Construction sector in France
Sustainable construction is increasingly seen as an essential area of development for the French industry.
With 33 million houses and apartments, 2/3 of which were built before 1975 (the year thermal directives were adopted), and 80% of buildings which do not comply with the environmental standards, the renovation market for energy efficient buildings remains a viable opportunity for British companies.
The dynamism of the renovation and repair activity also generates demand in housing maintenance and the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ (DIY) products sub-sectors
In 2011, the building sector counted 347,000 companies (and an additional 16,000 in the French overseas territories; 327,000 with less than 10 employees, and only 200 with over 200 employees), 1.180 M employees for € 129 billion worth of works (exc. VAT) – €58 billion in new builds (215,000 private housing / 206,000 social housing) and €71 billion in the renovation market.
The three leading companies are: Vinci, Bouygues and Eiffage.
The ‘Grenelle de l’Environnement’ (similar to the Green Deal) found that reducing residential and commercial buildings’ energy consumption must be a priority for environmental policy because they are the biggest energy consumers in France. Its original goals were to make all new buildings consume less than 50 kWk/m2/year (initially by 2012) and become energy neutral or positive by 2020. This new set of thermal regulations “RT2012” replaces the previous RT 2005. The energy efficiency market should remain stable until 2014, with a turnover expected to rise from 47% to 330%.
Yet, after over 10 years of continued growth, followed by dynamism in 2011, 2012 is gloomy for the housing and building sector (feeling the burden of the current economic climate, and impacted by reductions in government tax incentives). Indeed the sector is hit across the range:
Housing sales (social housing: -25% down to 75-80,000, private houses: -17% down to 120-130,000),
Job cuts (35,000 expected in the building sector),
Volume of orders placed,
New builds (-10% expected overall in the year, current sales: -14.4%)
Renovation projects (-1.7%)
Overall the building sector’s activity is expecting a 1.9% drop; 2013 is forecast to be similar.
Despite all this, the recently elected President Hollande has set an objective of 500,000 new builds per year (2.5M during his overall presidency - 400,000 student lodgings and 150,000 devoted to social housing).
Grand Paris (large developments in infrastructure/transport, and the government has set an related objective of 70,000 housing units to be built per year )
Energy efficiency, including positive energy buildings, and opportunities in the timber house market
The 2015 law on accessibility (public and residential buildings) will create opportunities in the sector in order to comply with the required standards
Public tenders are a good source for projects in the sector
Getting into the market
To enter the market, British building products manufacturers need to be CE-certified. CE certification is not a mark of quality, but proof that a product has met performance requirements.
France imposes rigorous norms and regulations; UK companies should obtain these prior to entering the market, as most distributors will not reference products which do not comply..
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country - or contact your local international trade team.
Marie-Agnès Laude, British Embassy Paris. Tel: +33 (0)144513449 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Taylor-Colas, Tel: +33 (0)144513287 or email: email@example.com
4-8 November 2013
12-15 March 2013
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