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CIBBIOS, expert in bio-sourced components, offers hemp concrete walls

Published the 16/03/21 | Territorial life

In order to comply with the future French environmental regulations known as “RE2020” and the need to massively increase the use of local bio-sourced products in the building industry, the construction industry (developers, builders, architects) is actively looking for new solutions (products and assembly) that are efficient, reliable and economical.
CIBBIOS is a new industrial company based in the Aube region, offering prefabricated, biobased products for the building industry. This start-up is the result of the commitment of two experienced project leaders who want to provide solutions to meet the challenges of France’s energy transition.

A businessman from the Aube region named Best Workman in France

Didier GLAIS, Meilleur Ouvrier de France 2011 in roofing, set up Didier Glais SARL in 2007, a carpentry and roofing company based in Montreuil sur Barse (Aube), which was awarded the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Company) label in 2012. He manages a team of 20 employees and has a turnover of €1.8m.
In 2014, Didier GLAIS built the first passive wood-frame house in Aube, in Montreuil sur Barse, and had it certified.
In 2018, Didier GLAIS decided to diversify his business by taking over the assets of CIBBA, an industrial manufacturer of trusses, traditional frameworks and timber-frame houses in Ancy-le-Franc, with another partner, a natural person. The company currently employs 23 people and has a turnover of €3.3m.
Alain FERNANDEZ DE GRADO, an Arts et Métiers engineer, has extensive industrial experience in Research and Development, particularly in the production of energy performance equipment and solutions. He was involved in the design of the Passive House in 2014 as a thermal engineer.
In 2020, drawing on their knowledge of the market, the possibility of using CIBBA’s industrial facilities and the Aubois hemp ecosystem, they set up CIBBIOS, a company specialising in the design and manufacture of prefabricated hemp-based walls and components.
The two project leaders are counting on their complementary skills and experience to ensure the local, national and international growth of CIBBIOS.
An innovative product: a biosourced wall made from hemp concrete.
The biosourced wall, produced by CIBBIOS, is prefabricated on the Vendeuvre sur Barse site (30 km east of Troyes) from hemp, a plant grown and processed in the Aube region.
The technical use of natural materials (wood, hemp) gives the finished product very attractive characteristics in terms of carbon footprint, insulation, thermal inertia and fire protection, among others. What’s more, the prefabricated nature of the product means that it can be installed reliably on site, with pre-dried modules that are easy to assemble.

The development of this innovative product and the creation of this start-up have received a great deal of support.
The Grand Est Region is supporting Cibbios as part of the “Help with the initial development of the start-up” scheme.
It has also received support from the Business Sud Champagne (BSC) economic development agency, incubation at the Technopole de l’Aube and accreditation from the Fibres-Energivie Competitiveness Cluster.
Aube, a pioneering region in the hemp revival
Hemp cultivation under control
Since 1973, CHANVRIERE, France’s leading agricultural cooperative dedicated to hemp, has been involved in growing, processing and industrialising hemp. Today, 430 farmers grow hemp. It’s worth remembering that hemp is a virtuous plant, consuming little water to grow and requiring no specific treatments. It is therefore well suited to the soil of southern Champagne.
Research and development studies have made it possible to guarantee the industrial and construction use of hemp.
Over the past 15 years, CHANVRIERE has helped set up the Fibre Research and Development Laboratory at the Troyes Technopole, which supports the various players in the industry in the characterisation of natural fibres, their implementation (professional rules for the building industry) and their use in industrial processes.
A €25m hemp primary processing facility operational by 2020
In 2020, CHANVRIERE started work on a new €25m hemp primary processing plant at the Troyes Saint Lyé Bioeconomy Park, enabling it to process up to 100,000 tonnes a year.
A dynamic industry of European interest
The hemp industry and Troyes Champagne Métropole, with the support of Europe, the State and the Region, have just launched the prefiguration of the European Hemp Cluster, a future centre for resources, testing and production of products derived from hemp processing.
Within the European Hemp Cluster, the Business Sud Champagne development agency has been mandated to encourage the emergence and establishment of development projects. In 2019, the agency was able to help Didier GLAIS study the feasibility of producing a prefabricated wall and then mobilise all the resources needed (Chanvrière, FRD laboratory, Region/BPI, Technopole, etc.) to successfully launch the project.
An initial demonstration building, to be used as offices and a workshop, is currently being designed for express construction in the spring of 2021, in the Troyes urban area.

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