News  |  16.06.2022

Soon certified tropical timber on the Olympic site?

The call for tenders, published this week by Solidéo (Olympic Works Delivery Company) is available !

Soon certified tropical timber on the Olympic site?

Consult the call for tenders by published by Solidéo

From now on, the TALI (Erythrophleum suaveolens) sustainable certified is retained as the main option in the framework of the works of the Olympic site for Paris 2024 for a surface of decking of approximately 4400 m2, with barriers.

Equivalent species may be offered.

This mainly concerns the banks of the Seine from the Pont de St Ouen to the A86 bridge, the urban footbridge, the Finot alley platform, as well as street furniture, among others.

The call for tenders published on June 13 does include a few small improvements to be made to the specifications, but the main point is there, and the ATIBT would like to thank the certified companies, the Congo Basin authorities, the PPECF program, LCB and all the people who mobilized to obtain this opening from Solidéo for tropical timber.

We have always considered the exclusion of certified tropical timber from the Olympic works to be unjustified, and we are therefore delighted with this perspective up in the context of the outdoor facilities. Nevertheless, this evolution could not concern the first phase of the construction site, dedicated to housing, and all the frame elements could not be manufactured in tropical timber, which would have made sense.   

For this phase dedicated to the exterior fittings, beyond the certification ("The timber will have to be FSC certified, 100% certified sustainable management"), a certain number of other requirements are also expressed, in particular the certificate of origin of the wood, to be submitted for validation to the project management and the project owner, the validation of samples, and a life cycle analysis to be provided as well.

The ATIBT will be able to bring its expertise for the analysis of the supply chain and the verification of certifications. There is no doubt that a nice narrative can be made around this wood whose social and environmental value must be highlighted and disseminated to the public, to, as some say, “connect cities with forests”

We have also noted that this contract is conditional on the completion of part of the works with reused wood of equivalent quality. This last requirement is the new challenge! We thank our dear readers in advance for informing us of the deposits of which they are aware. (

The ATIBT's proposal concerning tali is linked to the fact that all FSC-certified companies in the Congo Basin are potential producers of this species. The offer is therefore large, and the supply can be ensured in this period of tension on the timber supply in general.  An exclusive mention of FSC certification was made in the call for tenders, which is understandable given the predominance of FSC areas in Central Africa (5.6 million ha). It should not be forgotten, however, that new areas undergoing PAFC certification are expected in the coming months, of which 0.3 million ha already are exclusively PAFC certified.

A list of certified forestry companies that are able to meet this demand for certified tali can be found on the Fair&Precious Website.

A prototype is being prepared for delivery to the Olympic site.

Tali, a yellow-brown to red-brown wood, is a tropical species from sub-Saharan Africa known for its resistance to wear. This reputation corresponds rather well to reality, since tali is a very durable wood, which is used, for example, in the construction of outdoor furniture, with the undeniable advantage that it does not need to be treated. Its characteristics make it a particularly ecological material. Tali is highly resistant to termites and fungi, as well as to rot.

Tali is a heavy wood, hard to very hard, and requires powerful equipment for sawing. Note that East African tali is lighter in color.

Consult the Tropix sheet of Tali (CIRAD).

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