ESB, Urbain des Bois, Eiffage Construction and Saint-Gobain launch the "ECORCE" Industrial Chair

Construction Division

During the Forum Bois Construction (Lille), Arnaud GODEVIN, Director of ESB, Ecole Supérieure du Bois, Anne FRAISSE, Director of Urbain des Bois, a subsidiary of Icade Promotion, Christian BIRBAUD, Director of the industrialised solutions division of Eiffage Construction, and Arnaud TRACTERE, Managing Director of Saint-Gobain Solutions France, made official the creation of an Industrial Chair. Signed for a renewable period of three years, this "ECORCE" Industrial Chair aims to optimise, from a technical and economic point of view, multi-material solutions for wood construction with a view to their use in property development.


  • To develop innovative solutions for timber construction, in particular for timber-frame facades. These solutions will integrate optimised combinations of materials, in structure, filling, and façade cladding on medium and high rise buildings.
  • Develop and propose complements to the normative and regulatory frameworks in order to facilitate the implementation of these constructive techniques necessary for the decarbonisation of the act of building.
  • Make new knowledge available to the greatest number of people so that these solutions can be used on a massive scale.

A chair open to all players in the sector
By opening up this work to the players and adopting a collaborative approach, the founding members wish to involve the entire construction industry in the paradigm shift that we must make today by massively using these new optimised construction methods.
The creation of this industrial chair is an excellent opportunity for all stakeholders to strengthen their expertise in this field and to actively contribute to the transition towards a more sustainable construction.
A priority area of work: wooden facades
To begin its work, the Chair will focus its priorities on wooden facades.
Based on feedback from past and current wood wall practices, both in France and internationally, the Chair's work will aim to develop combinations of optimised multi-material solutions for wood-frame and CLT facades, integrating different types of interior and exterior finishes.
This initiative aims to complete the body of knowledge on wood construction, especially on facades. The aim of this work is to provide the scientific community with the elements for a robust and sustainable development of regulations and technical standards.
A word from the founding members
"Urbain des Bois is a property developer committed to decarbonising the act of building. We support the sectors to develop the technical solutions necessary to accelerate the ecological transition in the real estate value chain. We invest in research to develop methods and standards in a constrained economic environment. The Ecorce Chair is part of this strategy!  We are determined that the work of the Ecorce Chair will federate and spread, in order to develop our collective construction practices and the related regulations."
Anne Fraisse, Managing Director of Urbain des Bois
"Working with companies to strengthen the scientific corpus around wood and its uses is part of the ESB's mission. This knowledge will be made available to as many people as possible and will feed into the training programmes. Our ambition is to be ahead of the curve so that our graduates are at the forefront of the development of this noble material. The cooperation with three major groups such as Eiffage, Saint-Gobain and Urbain des Bois is a great recognition for ESB!
Arnaud GODEVIN, Director of ESB
"Building differently, with innovative, sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions, is the challenge that Eiffage Construction has set itself. Our priority is to design virtuous buildings using bio-sourced and low-carbon materials. The "Ecorce" chair is fully in line with the Group's strategy as it allows future generations to be involved in the innovative spectrum of construction and thus in a responsible heritage that will retain its value over time"
Christian BIRBAUD, Director of Eiffage Construction's industrialised solutions division
"The development of wood construction methods helps to meet the environmental, social and societal challenges we face. As a world leader in sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain is fully committed to this approach. In this sense, the collaborative work carried out within the framework of the Ecorce Chair will make it possible to propose new sustainable, high-performance and innovative solutions to the entire sector."
Arnaud TRACTERE, Managing Director of Saint-Gobain Solutions France

Why Ecorce?
The Ecorce industrial chair contributes to the evolution of regulations on wood construction and particularly on wood-frame facades to accelerate the decarbonisation of the act of building. Facades are the envelope of buildings, just as the bark is the protective envelope of the tree!