Testimony of Grégoire Pianet
Fire Safety Construction Engineer
I am a Construction Engineer and Fire Expert in the Engineering unit of the Wood & Construction Industries cluster in Bordeaux. All my missions are based on one essential subject: fire safety in wooden buildings. In the form of technical, experimental or numerical approaches, I support the wood industry according to the issues addressed.
For example, with the emergence of wood in multi-storey buildings, I support the sector in setting up and monitoring collective projects that will make it possible to have optimised solutions in the future so that wooden buildings can meet fire safety requirements.
A large part of my work concerns technical and regulatory support for the implementation of wood solutions aimed at preventing the risk of fire propagation through facades. Indeed, the existing guidelines and standard solutions for wooden structures are not yet fully developed for projects of more than three floors. This is where I bring my expertise to evaluate customised technical solutions.
On the basis of our accreditation in reaction to fire tests, which concern the small scale, we also have the possibility of intervening within the framework of a partnership with the CSTB through a LEPIR2 type test bench present on our site in Cestas (https://www.fcba.fr/travaux/propagation-feu-sur-facade-bois/). We also work in this same field in partnership with CERIB, which also has this type of test facility.
Numerical modelling is a tool that is increasingly used in my profession. Our engineering team has calculation codes for fire simulation and structural calculation applicable to wood. Today, I use simulation to support facade opinions and laboratory assessments, but there are other applications: In the case of judicial expertise, I can intervene as a consultant to provide technical assistance to the expertise, using experimental and numerical tools to better understand the causes and circumstances of a fire. In association with our structural experts, I would also like to develop studies of the ruin of wooden structures subjected to fire (requested, for example, for storage warehouses within the framework of the regulations governing classified installations).
Experimental and numerical modelling is also involved in FCBA’s R&D projects. Producing fine modelling tools applied to wood would allow us to better respond to certain services. For example, for fire propagation in facades, I will use modelling to optimise construction details, to study the impact of balcony coverings or added elements not provided for in the basic fire reference system and which constitute real propagation vectors.
Finally, FCBA plays the role of accompanying the dialogue between the wood industry and the public authorities. Thus, I participate in several normative and institutional working groups. An interministerial working group is currently being held to bring the issue of wood in fire regulations up to standard and harmonise it in the face of the strong growth in high-rise wood building projects stimulated by the new energy regulations.
For more information, please consult the « Guide Timber construction and fire propagation through facades »
You can also participate in the webinar on Tuesday 30 November from 11:00 to 12:00 where I will present an international state of the art on fire safety in timber construction (register).