The civil engineering industry in France

What does your industry look like in France ? Today: the civil engineering and sustainability sector

The building and civil engineering industry, often know in France by its acronym BTP (Bâtiment et Travaux Publics), is a large and healthy sector of French economy. Encompassing the conception, construction and promotion of private and public buildings, and with a total national turn-over exceeding 170 billion euros in 2017, this vast and confusing world weighs heavily in the French GDP. Snap-shot of the French BTP market, players and concerns.

Healthy and steady growth
According to Deloitte 14th study of the European Powers of Construction, the last few years saw the French BTP sector kick the recession into touch for good, with an overall growth figure of 0.4% in 2016 and 1.3% in 2017. The construction sector alone employed 20,000 new people in 2017 and boasted a 4.3% growth.
Not satisfied with being the European market leader and with being home to some of Europe’s largest corporations such as Vinci, Bouygues et Eiffage groups, France’s healthy building industry employs over 1.4 millions people across 536,000 businesses.

Public Sector
As expected, a large slice of this particular cake goes to the public sector. All upcoming government tenders have to be published on the Marchés Publics listings. If you are considering bidding on French tenders, I suggest you find yourself a French translator who is used to working in a civil engineering environment as they’ll not only be helping you with the tender bid and all contractual documents but eventually with all reports and drawing submissions, too.

Sustainability : a major concern of the French BTP sector
A strong contender of this formidable market is the renewable and sustainable energy sector which is not only a part of most residential projects but is also the object of growing interest from business and industrial property developers. This side of the BTP industry is responsible for an optimistic 4.8% growth forecast by Deloitte.

The energy-hungry civil engineering industry is in the spotlight of 3 major, current, European debates : climate change, resources crisis, and sustainability, leading the French government to show support to a large number of real estate projects focussing on energy efficiencies. The French thermal efficiency regulation, the RT2012 (soon to be replaced with the upgraded RT2020), leads the way by imposing limits on factors such as carbon footprint and energy production. The ultimate objective is to build BEPOS (known in English as Energy-Plus buildings) ie buildings deemed to have a neutral or even positive energy impact not only during their construction but also in terms of longevity and maintenance.