Dr. Eric GUILLAUME

General Manager | EFECTIS France

Dr. Eric Guillaume has worked in fire sciences since 1998. He formerly led the fire behaviour department of SNCF (the French railway), joining LNE (The French National Laboratory for Testing and Metrology) in 2005 as head of the fire safety studies department, eventually becoming head of research for all testing activities there. Since 2015, he has worked for Efectis France, first as technical director, and more recently, as general manager of the company, leading one of the most important fire testing and fire safety engineering companies in Europe, with a staff of 150 and a budget of 21€ million ($30 million CAD or $23 USD).

He is a fire expert involved in various missions, including laboratory development, teaching, standardization and regulation, fire toxicity, and modelling fire behaviour of materials. He is the author of more than 40 scientific publications and 15 book chapters, and has presented at more than 150 conferences on fire safety. He is technical advisor for fire safety for many French authorities, and active in standardization as chairman of the ISO TC92/SC3 committee, dealing with fire threat to people and the environment; and ISO TC61/SC4/WG2, dealing with smoke opacity and corrosivity for plastics.

Presentation:  Modelling Grenfell Façade System

On June 14, 2017, one of the largest fire tragedies of the last decades, with 71 fatalities, occurred in the Grenfell Tower in London. Along with other causes, this fire was due to a rapid vertical fire propagation via the east façade construction, and in the second stage, due to horizontal propagation clockwise and anticlockwise around the tower. Another key point was linked to fire penetration through windows. Fire events in building façades involving aluminium composite material-based claddings and various insulations have recently received attention.

To investigate the behaviour of the Grenfell fire, Efectis made a reconstruction of this disaster, using step-by-step numerical methods based on experimental data. These constructive systems are made of multi-component assemblies, and the interactions between each constituting product—as well as the mounting and the fixing conditions—lead to a high level of complexity. Dr. Guillaume will explain how the use of numerical methods based on experiment data is essential to predict the behaviour of such highly complex systems and to identify the role of one or several components of the façade system in case of fire.


Richard Voyer

Executive Vice-President and CEO – North America | SOPREMA

Holder of a PhD in chemistry and a MBA, Richard Voyer became, in 2011, vice-president and CEO – North America at SOPREMA, an international manufacturing company that specializes in the production of waterproofing, insulation, vegetated, and soundproofing solutions for the construction industry.

He is responsible for the development of the Canadian and American markets, as well as international subsidiaries. Thanks to his vision and his initiative, Richard Voyer has led SOPREMA to phenomenal growth in recent years by opening sales offices in Brazil and Mexico, in addition to building four plants and acquiring four companies. Active in 90 countries, SOPREMA employs over 8,000 people worldwide.

Richard Voyer is well known in the business world as well as his community for his involvement in causes he holds dear, such as family, the environment, education, and the well-being of employees.

Presentation:  “Adaptation for Climate Change – A Canadian Building Envelope Manufacturer’s Perspective”

In the era of climate change, the building industry is confronted with major issues: being the biggest consumer of energy and an important emitter of CO2 and greenhouse gases, while at the same time having to maintain the level of indoor comfort. As human needs evolve, the building industry is transitioning to further improve its social, economic, and environmental impact. Globally, the industry is struggling with its role, not only in corporate social responsibility (CSR), but also in sustainability – being challenged by multiple stakeholders to reduce the environmental impact of buildings and improve their social benefits.

As manufacturers, we must bring about actual progress to reduce and limit the negative effects that we can collectively have on people’s environment and quality of life. Several drivers of sustainability should be considered: climate change, legislation and regulation, client demand, community and public expectations, and a changing workforce. As we become more aware of the building industry’s major impact on climate change, we recognize the importance of adopting good practices that are synonymous with value creation to move society forward and ensure the sustainability of our planet.