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Leading articles

Annual Report 2013

CSTB, Scientific and Technical Centre for Building, is a public organization for innovation in building, which performs four key activities, namely research, expertise, evaluation and dissemination of knowledge, organized to satisfy the challenges of the ecological and energy transition in the world of construction. Its field of expertise covers construction products, buildings and their integration into districts and cities. With over 900 employees, and with its subsidiaries and networks of national, European and international partners, CSTB offers its services to all parties involved in construction to improve the quality and safety of buildings.

Partnership for earthquake-resistant construction in Haiti

On May 28 2010, Carole Le Gall (Managing Director, CSTB) and Yves-Fritz Joseph (Managing Director, LNBTP, Laboratoire National du Bâtiment et des Travaux Publics – National Building & Public Works Laboratory), signed a partnership agreement to improve construction quality in Haiti. This action forms part of the mission to provide technical assistance to the Haitian government initiated by the French government a few days after the catastrophe.

An electromagnetic platform (PHELINE) at CSTB Grenoble

Evaluate and optimise the electromagnetic properties of materials and equipment, study the interactions of electromagnetic fields between a person and his or her environment ; these are the objectives of the PHELINE services and design platform developed by CSTB (French Scientific and Technical Centre for Building), Joseph Fourier University (UJF), and Floralis for manufacturers, research laboratories, communities and associations. The platform is a genuine scientific and technical cluster that contributes to the quality and performances of the electromagnetic environment. It was inaugurated on CSTB's Grenoble site on May 21 this year in the presence of Michel Issindou (Mayor of Gières, Vice-President of the Greater Grenoble-Alps urban community and Member of Parliament for the 2nd circumscription of the Isère department) and François Brottes, Member of Parliament for the 5th circumscription of the Isère department.

Architecture and innovation

Coordinated actions for stretched structure

Structures made of stretched fabric are few and far between. They require very specific skills. Several CSTB teams have been asked to help evaluate the glass fabric structure used in the Montrouge "Evergreen" operation, including restructuring and construction of 78,000 m² of offices.

Christian Devillers: "Sustainable development at several scales"

The architect Christian Devillers followed Michel Cantal-Dupart as CSTB's and Archinov's guest for a new "Carte Blanche" session. An opportunity to get a better understanding of the different scales of sustainable development with a reputable specialist in French town planning who won the Equerre d'Argent (Silver Square) architecture prize in 1984 and the National Town Planning Grand Prize in 1998.

Metz Pompidou Centre, a museum exposed to wind and snow

The 10,000 m² Pompidou-Metz Centre dedicated to modern and contemporary works of art was inaugurated on May 12. CSTB contributed in its own way to this important structure that will welcome an expected 250,000 visitors per year to see a wide range of works that cannot be seen at the moment because there is not enough space in the Paris Pompidou Centre. The Shigeru Ban, Jean de Gastines and Philippe Gumuchdjian Architecture offices were responsible for the architecture. This structure is characterised by a roof inspired by a Chinese hat: it is composed of three tubular parallelepiped-shaped galleries superposed on each other and intersecting under a stretched fabric roof cover above a wood-metal composite structure. The town of Metz and the OVE ARUP international design office asked CSTB to carry out climatic studies on this particularly sensitive part of the structure.

Apple Store: an all-structural glass staircase

Apple's Carrousel du Louvre Store was the first Apple store to open in France, before the Montpellier store. It is a genuine shop, unlike the virtual internet store. CSTB studied the helical staircase in Apple's new sales outlet and showroom in the context of an ATEx (Technical Experimental Assessment). This article takes another look at the structure designed entirely from structural glass, with its almost improbable lightweight and transparency.

A Ministry that resists wind

CSTB tested the wind resistance of Gabon's new Ministry of Finance project for which construction should start in September, at the request of Eiffel Construction métallique.

Controlled Health and Safety risks

Industrial or natural incense: different emissions!

The "Envoyé Spécial" program broadcast by France 2 (French TV Channel 2) has travelled the highways of the world for its travel reports, and particularly the Incense Road. Incense is traditionally used in daily life and for religious practices in many countries in the Far East, and it is now beginning to occupy a small place in our homes. However, its use is not as innocent as we might think! This is illustrated in a study carried out by CSTB and the LHVP (City of Paris Health Laboratory).

Economy in construction

The European GreenConServe project: supporting service innovations to improve the environmental performances of construction

The European GreenConServe (Greening the construction sector – towards a value-adding service industry) project started in September 2009 for a three-year period. CSTB, MEDIACONSTRUCT, OSEO and TECHNOFI are the French partners of the project.