Everything about the pines

Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

Can you use pine for structural work ?

Of course, just like the majority of French tree species.

Pine has historically been used for construction material, as well as in civil engineering works and community projects.

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Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

How can I be sure that the pine has the right structural properties ?

In the technical specifications, just ask for a C18 or C24 mechanical grading, depending on the load you are taking away and any dimensional constraints.

The only noticeable difference between the species would be seen in the cross-section of a structural component in any given load, if we take into account its actual resistance. However, this is not calculable. Structural calculations are based on the average resistance of the timber pieces, which is worked out using the mechanical grading mentioned above.

Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

What is mechanical grading of timber ?

Mechanical grading involves systematically analysing the wood, whether visually or using a machine, with the aim of attributing a mechanical resistance use class to a piece of timber intended for structural use. In general the timber should exhibit a minimum amount of resistance.

Pieces of timber are used class into 3 main categories: C18, C24 and C30.

The number (18, 24 or 30) corresponds to the value of the allowable bending stress, expressed in N/mm2. This value (and others that go with it) is taken into account by the specialised Research Department which calculates wooden structures.

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Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

How is the mechanical resistance of a piece of timber visually assessed ?

For businesses that don't have a mechanical grading machine, the process is done visually. The pieces of timber are analysed according to a number of criteria respecting the NF B 52-001 standard. This analysis places the wood into 3 categories: STI, STII and STIII. These categories also correspond to the "traditional" mechanical grading categories as follows: STI corresponds to C30, STII to C24 and STIII to C18.

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Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

How do you determine the relationship between the appearance of the timber and its mechanical resistance ?

For resinous trees, this relationship is documented in the NF B 52-001 standard.

Each species has to undergo a long series of laboratory tests in order to feature in the analysis tables of this standard, where the main French species are assessed. In France, the FCBA technical centre is the main organisation in charge of carrying out these tests. A representative population of each species is first visually assessed, before undergoing mechanical testing in order to ascertain the relationship between the appearance and mechanical resistance of the wood.

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Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

Does every pine species have the same mechanical resistance ?

Once they have been used class C18, C24 or C30, each piece of wood is equivalent in terms of mechanical resistance.

Depending on the pine species, the only thing that varies is the size of the C18, C24 or C30 used class timber. But it is important to remember that these use class allocations also depend on the origin of the wood, as well as the silviculture method used and the part of the tree the piece of wood came from.

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Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

Is it important to ask for a CE marking for timber pieces intended for structural use ?

YES - All building products used within the boundaries of a structure must have the CE marking. This comes from the CPD (Construction Products Directive) European directive, aimed at promoting the free and safe circulation of goods. This is therefore a regulatory marking.

The absence of marking on a wooden structural component affects the security of goods and people, and can result in heavy penalties.

This marking attests to the mechanical grading of the piece of timber.

Depending on the type of structural component, the marking must be visible on each piece of wood - or each batch of pieces - or occasionally just on the administrative documents.

For certain products, including framework and joining timber, it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to use declarative marking. However for other products, including glued laminated timber, controlled marking is carried out by a notified body, such as the FCBA, for example.

Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

What should be mentioned in the CE marking for it to be valid ?

Regardless of the material or component in question, the CE marking takes into account different criteria, providing the user information on:

  • The mechanical resistance and stability
  • Safety in the event of fire (prevention, fighting the fire, evacuation)
  • Hygiene, health and environment (leaks, emissions, drainage, etc.)
  • Safe use and accessibility
  • Protection against noise
  • Energy saving and thermal insulation
  • Sustainable use of natural resources

The products or structural timber packages must display a label. The format and content of this label is also subject to regulations. Since 1 July 2013, it is compulsory for the label to include:

  • The product type
  • The name of the manufacturer and their contact details
  • A reference to the European standard relevant to the product
  • A reference to the manufacturer's declaration of performance
  • The manufacture date
  • The minimum product performance to declare (regulatory CE marking)
  • Any extra certified performance features (voluntary marking)
Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

What is a D.O.P?

A declaration of performance is mandatory for all construction products. The declaration is written by the manufacturer, with or without the help of a notified body (depending on the assessment scheme)

This declaration must include several elements:

  • the product reference;
  • the harmonised standard reference concerning the product;
  • the constancy of performance assessment and verification scheme;
  • a list of the product's key features;
  • the intended use;
  • the performance of at least one key feature relevant to the intended use.

The declaration of performance must be available to the customer at all times. The reference should be clear and must be displayed on the product or timber package.

Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

Can treated wood be used for structural purposes ?

YES - As written in the NF EN 15228 standard, "the resistance and rigidity of wood structures treated with preservatives that protect against biological attacks should be considered as unaffected". This is the case for all products cited in Annex A of the same standard, i.e. all the main wood treatment products currently used in France.

NOTE: in theory, the CE marking of treated construction wood is valid only if the treatment plant is subject to control by a notified body. The use of the CTB-B + quality Label administered by the FCBA is sufficient; the CE mark can therefore be used on all treated wood.

Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

Can you use French pine to produce glued laminated timber ?

Yes - All French "laminators" can use French pine to make glued laminated framework. This is the case for APEP members who manufacture glued laminated timber.

However many glued laminated timber manufacturers currently use imported pine, mainly out of habit and reassurance. In fact, many of the key players of French pine are perfectly capable of supplying the C24 wood needed to produce GL24h glued laminated timber.

The only question is whether they are willing to do so. So if you're after French pine glulam you just need to be willing to search for it.

Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

What makes glued laminated pine interesting ?

Firstly, any product made of French pine will have an excellent carbon footprint.

Moreover, pine is a species of wood very suitable for impregnation. Once pine has undergone the autoclave impregnation process its durability improves dramatically, even when used in the most exposed conditions, such as in contact with soil or water.

Glued laminated timber - which itself has an excellent durability - can be made using impregnated pine.

Of all the resinous trees, only pine - after going through the vacuum autoclave process - can be used to produce use class 3 glued laminated timber, i.e. timber that can be used outdoors not in contact with the ground and with no risk of waterlogging.

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Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

Can a wood frame house be built using French pine ?

YES - Pine can easily replace the more traditional species used for making timber frames, such as fir/spruce and the Douglas. This is because it benefits from the C18 mechanical grading required for wall framework, which must be made available on request.

As with glued laminated timber, pine can also undergo autoclave impregnation treatment, which gives it excellent resistance against fungus, insects and termites.

A timber framework made of autoclave treated pine is therefore highly suitable for use in the French overseas territories or in any region of France colonised by termites.

Even outside of these areas, using autoclave treated pine for a timber frame house is a security guarantee and ensures any property investment will stand the test of time. We have been building timber frame houses in France for over 50 years and termite infestation has been increasing. Using pine wood is one of the best ways to guarantee the long-term safety of any structure.

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Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

What are the advantages of pine when it comes to structural framework ?

As previously explained, pine wood is extremely durable. However it is also renowned for its ability to hold up well to nailing and drilling when compared with other softwoods.

Pine is also excellent for bonding, providing the wood is free of resin pockets.

For a number of years, pine framework was thought to be too heavy, but this was mainly because the wood was not being dried correctly. Today, the key players in the French pine industry all have dryers. A dry pine frame has the same density as a dry Douglas or fir wood frame, for example.


Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

Why does pine occasionally have grey or blue areas ?

Pine sapwood is particularly sensitive to the "blue" fungus, which gives the wood a blue, green or even blackish colour.
This fungus thrives on freshly sawn and/or undried wood only.

That's why it's important to dry pine timber as quickly as possible, or at least give it an anti-blue treatment.
The blue colour of the pine wood does not prevent it from being used for structural purposes. "Blue pine" has exactly the same mechanical characteristics.
However, although the fungus can be eradicated through drying, the discolouration of the wood is irreversible.
The blue colour is therefore considered a cosmetic default of the pine which, depending on its intended use, doesn't really pose much of a problem.
For example, an opaque paint can be applied to the surface, or the pine can be impregnated in an autoclave, and its blue colour will not pose a problem.

Catégorie : Looking to use pine wood in construction ?

All you need to know about French Pine

French Pine in two minutes

Everything is good in the pine France!

Who are we ?



Who are we ?

French pine is found throughout France and provides an abundant resource of timber and industrial wood in the immediate vicinity of industry players and end users. This website was created by the APEP, l'Association pour la Promotion des Emplois du Pin (the Association for the Promotion of the Use of Pine), which unites all professionals who use French pine, whether in outdoor structures, construction, interior design, logistics or industry.