The French government has announced plans for a sustainability law that will ensure all new public buildings are built from at least 50 per cent timber or other natural bio-based materials.
The measure will be implemented by 2022 and affect all public buildings financed by the French state.
Bio-based materials are made from matter derived from living organisms, including hemp and straw, and have a lower embodied carbon footprint compared to other construction materials like concrete and steel.
The proposal aligns with France’s Sustainable City plan launched in 2009, and president Emmanuel Macron’s drive for the country to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
The decision to introduce the law encouraging the use of bio-based materials was informed by the construction of the 2024 Paris Olympics complex. Any building in the development that rises more than eight storeys will be built entirely from timber.