Deloitte's 2019 study reveals France is the 4th largest construction and civil engineering market in the world behind Japan, China and the USA.

French certified translator

The Bâtiment et Travaux Publics industry, translated from French as the building and civil engineering sector and often known in France by its acronym BTP, has been confirmed to be a core sector of French economy.

Defined as anything involving the conception, construction and promotion of private and public buildings, and with a total national turn-over exceeding 113 billion euros in 2019 (not including by-services such as insurance, media or French translations of foreign applications to public tenders), this vast and confusing world weighs heavily in the French GDP.

Healthy and steady growth

According to Deloitte’s 2019 study on the Global 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 the 4th global player, or with being home to some of Europe’s largest corporations such as construction global leader Vinci, Bouygues et Eiffage groups, France’s healthy building industry employs over 1.4 million people across 536 000 businesses.

Sustainability: a core concern of the French BTP sector

As a translator specialised in sustainability, I'd already noted that 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 a growing interest from business and industrial property developers. This side of the BTP industry is largely responsible for the optimistic 4.8% growth forecast by Deloitte.

Energy-hungry, the construction industry is in the spotlight of 3 current and heated European debates: climate change, resources crisis, and sustainability, leading the French government to show support to a large number of real estate projects focusing on energy efficiencies. The French thermic efficiency regulation, the RT2012 which is soon to be replaced with the RT2020, leads the way by considering factors such as carbon footprint and energy production. The main objective is to build BEPOS (bâtiment à énergie positive), i.e. buildings deemed to have a neutral or even positive energy impact not only during their construction but also in terms of longevity and maintenance.

How to get involved ?

The lion's share of the French BTP sector is made out of marchés publics, i.e. public tenders. All are published in French on the government's platform PLACE. Look for an "appel d'offre" in your sector, and be sure to read my guide to French procurement. Contenders in sustainability tenders will appreciate my tips on translating sustainability.