February 2009

Special report

New management for CSTB

A new Management has recently been set up at CSTB, with Bertrand Delcambre as the President and Carole le Gall as Managing Director.

Town planning

Carte blanche to Alain Maugard: from building to sustainable towns

Alain Maugard has been President of CSTB for fifteen years, and he resigned in September 2008 to preside over the « Risks, security, safety » section at the General Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development. The Archinov association and CSTB gave him "Carte blanche" in October to talk about sustainable towns. Selected paragraphs.


Louis Vuitton foundation for Creation on a cloud

The LVMH group has started construction of an unusual building, the Louis Vuitton Company Foundation for Creation, a future Parisian site for debates and contemporary art exhibitions, to give substance to its commitment to art and culture. The choice of Frank Gehry as the architect is the first important creative gesture. Now that earthworks have started, CSTB is continuing some consultancy missions performed during the detailed preliminary design phase, during the definition of the call for bids file phase, covering a wide variety of fields as varied as fire safety, aerodynamics and assistance with the design of innovative envelopes.

Toulouse-Blagnac Airport: glass stiffeners more than 16 meters high

CSTB has issued three Technical Experimental Assessments for the construction of Hall D at Toulouse-Blagnac airport. These three ATEx are for three different-shaped entities that have very different interfaces with the outside and with light. We will take another look at Cardete & Huet's architectural design of experimental structures for this new assembly designed to satisfy the increased air traffic in the Midi-Pyrénées region.

The CMA-CGM tower, the new centre-piece at Euroméditerranée

CSTB has just contributed its expertise to one of the most complex European projects under construction at the moment. As Massimiliano Vivian, Project Manager for Epitekh, the glass façades Contractor, put it "all possible difficulties are combined": a bold geometry imagined by the avant-garde architect Zaha Hadid, single and double skin type technologies on a tall building, the corrosive effects of the nearby sea front, and its location in a seismic zone ventilated by the Mistral. An overview of the concept of the CMA-CGM shipping company's head office in Marseille before delivery.


New challenges for new stadiums

Stadiums are not what they used to be! Roman amphitheatres are now a thing of the past, replaced by multi-purpose stadiums equally suitable for football or swimming, classical concerts or variety shows or any event attended by several tens of thousands of persons. Stadiums are now centres of attraction of today's towns, and their architecture, design and dimensions are changing. All associated challenges are also changing at the same time. This is the stage at which CSTB plays its part, before construction, where spectator comfort becomes a major challenge for designers.

information and communication technologies

Communic: virtual model for infrastructure projects

Environment to be protected, difficult financing, tight deadlines, large number of contributors or very strict regulations: all factors that increase the complexity of large infrastructure projects (roads and bridges). Professionals in the field use the capabilities of digital modelling within the Communic project, to improve cooperation between players.

Quality of environments

Lighting enters the nanotechnologies era

Will nanotechnologies transform windows and walls into illuminating surfaces as soon as night falls? Quiet probably! Many research teams (including CSTB) are participating in Luminosurf, a project that could well completely change lighting techniques.


First Aquasim stone, the large water platform

After blowing hot and cold in the Jules Verne wind tunnel and after modelling all sorts of physical phenomena in the Le Corbusier immersion room, CSTB has once again shown itself as being a leading player in Research and Development on building and the urban environment. Aquasim, the water cycle design and test centre, will open its doors in December 2009. The first stone was placed on October 24 this year in the presence of Yannick Vaugrenard, European Member of Parliament, 1st Vice president of the Regional Council of the Pays de Loire, Jean-Marc Ayrault, President of Greater Nantes, Deputy Mayor of Nantes.

Sustainable development

The SNI-EVE quotation: The Marking system for building Environmental Impact

The SNI (Société Nationale Immobilière) is the leading housing supplier in France, and it has asked CSTB to create a marking system to measure the environmental impact of its buildings. A first supported by Qualitel.

First inter-regional Effinergie meetings

Almost 200 people participated in the first inter-regional Effinergie meetings that were held on October 3 this year at the Centre Regional Council in Orléans. The purpose was to meet, bear witness, share, mobilise … This event was organised in partnership with the Centre Regional Council and the Cerqual, CertiVéA, Cequami and Promotelec certifying organisations.


Wind tests before facing the wind

CSTB teams have skills necessary to work for shipyards. Predictive studies on the behaviour of smoke plumes, behaviour facing the wind and passenger comfort: STX France Cruise SA (ex Aker Yards) has awarded several studies to CSTB.


Paris philharmonic auditorium: let the music play!

Concertists and music lovers have a rendez-vous with the Paris Philharmonic auditorium, in the La Villette district of Paris in 2012. CSTB's Nantes teams have recently tested the building designed by Jean Nouvel in the wind tunnel.