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Christelle, describe yourself in 3 hashtags
#durable (like wood!)

What are your duties as a construction engineer at WeWood, Bouygues Bâtiment France Europe’s wood division ?


My role as a construction engineer for the WeWood wood division is to bring my expertise to the Bouygues Bâtiment France Europe construction operatives that need it. My duties are highly diverse: technical support, management of operational studies, implementation of control plans, training, etc. The objective is to continue to capitalise on all of Bouygues Bâtiment France Europe’s experience with wood.

My duties have become more multidisciplinary in nature since I joined the WeWood wood division about a year ago. I am no longer only of use during a site’s execution phase, as was the case previously as a site manager. Now, I also act during the upstream phases, ranging from the early design phase to the creation of a PRO file.
I am in much more frequent contact with the members of the contractor/project manager consortium regarding the project’s feasibility and its technical development. My personal expertise provides all of our partners with a suitable approach to a site and its specific characteristics: how will things be built so they match the architect's intended volumes? How can we enhance the wood panels with added elements? This is also an asset when it comes to the sales teams of the Group's Operational Units, as it raises awareness of various regulatory, technical, and/or financial topics relating to timber construction.

Wood construction has far fewer restrictions than traditional concrete construction methods. The regulations covering it are evolving and using practical operational feedback as a basis. The use of this method requires a certain precision and has its own specific issues that differ from those of traditional constructions—as wood is a living material, it is more exacting than concrete.

Making efforts to further develop wood construction fits within a global environmental approach in the construction sector that makes use of more pre-construction methods and uses far less water
Interest in wood construction therefore drives high environmental performance, studies into the environmental impact of a building as a whole, and consequently an interest in many materials that have until now been neglected in traditional construction: bio-based materials, upcycled insulation, etc. It's a virtuous circle, led in particular by Bouygues Bâtiment France Europe’s collective WeWood ambition.
And who knows, perhaps soon we’ll have chicken coops and shared vegetable gardens on the rooftops of Paris!

Why did you choose the construction sector and the wood construction sector in particular?

I chose this sector out of conviction—construction has always interested me. I’m a naturally curious person and I’ve always asked “How does that work?” or “Why is that done this way?”
This interest is probably due to my dad, who actively involved me in renovating the family home during my childhood, or trimming and pruning the garden when needed.
His job? District nurse. But he always taught us that whatever profession you choose, it is bound to be fulfilling if you really invest yourself in it. I’m one of three children, and we all put this principle into practice in our own ways by choosing different paths: my brother is a chocolatier and my sister is now finishing her medical studies.
The construction sector has this very specific characteristic of actively showing something being physically built and progressing on a day to day basis thanks to our personal efforts, and it’s extremely motivating and rewarding!
The same as with seeing century-old buildings that are still standing and sometimes still being used.

When I was choosing my career, I hesitated for a very long time between training in engineering (with the aim of getting involved in the construction sector) or professional training in cabinet making or carpentry.
I am really drawn to manual work, and I find wooden materials so modular, easily transformable, warm, and of course natural, above all! It really has everything going for it!

We often hear people talking about gender diversity in the construction sector: what are your thoughts?

People have already stopped me in the street while I was wearing an orange helmet to ask me if I was a man or a woman (although it’s true that it could be because of the short hair...). Some people might say that the construction sector is generally associated with men. I think this is true for our grandparents’ generation. Younger generations are more aware than ever of arguments like: “There’s no reason why your gender should dictate your career choice”, “Men and women are equally capable of taking on the same jobs and making the same life choices”, “Be what you want to be!”
Women of course have their place in the construction sector—it's so obvious that it doesn’t even need saying anymore! I know that none of my colleagues would knock my work or my suitability for my position—or that of my female colleagues—just because we’re women.
However, it is still true that girls and young women don’t yet have enough women to look up to in this positions, and they need to be informed of these still underrepresented professions.

But I would rather talk about overall diversity than gender diversity.
The company’s strengths stem from the diversity of the people it is made up of, whatever their gender, background, or professional training.

Wood construction can also act as a driving force for accelerating the feminisation of our teams, especially site construction teams. As the conditions are less harsh, we have succeeded in welcoming a woman to our installation teams. The test is highly conclusive, but we have to move from testing onto overall rollout...

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