May 2008 edition

Sustainable developpment

Indoor air: building up speed

The OQAI (Indoor Air Quality Observatory) made a summary of progress with work being done by players involved in this problem at the Pollutec Horizons show held in Paris at the end of November, as it does every year. A very broad-ranging day that illustrated how much this theme has changed over the last 10 years. Indoor air is becoming a mature subject that now obliges the various players to organize themselves. This step is now under way with the help of the State and citizens who expect reliable and checked information.

Effinergie: the French reference for low energy buildings

The Effinergie label is becoming widespread. The association is continuing to rely on regional driving forces, but it is also opening up to new partners. The reference group organized by CSTB has determined requirement levels and supervises issuing the label. Partnerships with certification bodies have been set up. A guide is currently being published. Effinergie is becoming the French reference for low energy buildings.

Private houses: towards energy efficiency with ODMIR 4

The objectives of the ODMIR 4 project are an energy diagnostic and renovation solutions for private house owners.


Glass cladding with ATEx for Strasbourg Station

Unlike previous high speed train lines, the TGV East line forms part of a global development project for which all work was initiated simultaneously from one end of the route to the other. The most emblematic constructions designed by the AREP design and engineering office, an SNCF subsidiary, include the renovation of the large arch made of glass blocks in Paris Gare de l’Est, and construction of the large glass roof adjacent to the main façade of Strasbourg station. The immense transparent ovoid more than 120 m long has become a genuine innovation project for SEELE, the contractor, with the manufacturing and installation of cold-formed laminated glazing.

The breathing glazing technique is exported to Luxembourg

Façade systems using breathing glazing benefit from several ATEx (Appréciation Technique d’Expérimentation - Technical Experimental Assessment) and Technical Assessments and are widely used particularly for the office tower buildings in the La Défense district near Paris. This French technique had not yet been exported, but this has now changed: the fourth extension of the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg, designed by Dominique Perrault, will be provided with a façade made of breathing glazing.


eXpert: communicate better to build better

Digital technologies, new communication methods and the emergence of new professional practices are revolutionizing the world of building. Professionals are working together to face these major changes. The eXpert project is one specific example. It is financed by the Enterprises General Directorate in the Ministry of the Economy, Finances and Employment (call for project TIC PME 2010), and is intended to harmonize and develop the use of information and communication technologies (and particularly digital models) by professionals to improve quality and productivity for the benefit of everyone.


Concrete behaviors at the time of modeling

Modeling the behavior of cementing materials subject to very high constraints is the result of several years of work for Frédéric Grondin, who studied for his PhD at CSTB.

First progress made by the CEReM

The CEReM (Consortium d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Mortiers – Consortium for Study and Research on Mortars) is continuing its work to improve understanding of phenomena and mechanisms governing mortar behaviours. Work carried out since 2003 is bearing fruit. Reports by the different players in the consortium including particularly formulators, cement manufacturers, chemists and laboratories.


A first ETA for rebar anchoring

After issuing the first European Technical Approval (ATE) for a bonded anchor in concrete in 2001 and several other ETAs for this type of anchor over the last 5 years, CSTB has recently issued the first ETA delivered in Europe for the SPIT EPCON C8 rebar anchoring system in concrete.

European Technical Approvals for Structural Sealant Glazing Systems (SSGS)

Structural Sealant Glazing Systems (SSGS) called kits * and described in the ETA 002 guideline, are often used for office building facades, and now must have CE marking before they can be put on the European market. These systems involve several professions: the procedure designer or the facade contractor that designs and makes aluminum sections (directly or by subcontracting), the sealant supplier, the glazer, the bonder, the facade contractor who brings all elements together and produces the facade. It is the façade contractor who markets the "structural sealant glazing product". Therefore, he is responsible for CE marking. But before he can do this, he must check that the components comply with European requirements. This is the subject of the ETA (European Technical Approval), that addresses designers (procedure designer or facade contractor) based on the ETA 002 guideline that defines the expected characteristics of components such as sections, glazing, sealant, etc. CSTB recently issued seven ETAs.

First ETAs and CE marking on quick setting cements

CSTB has recently issued 5 ETAs (European Technical Approvals) on two special types of cement, and monitors their CE marking.

Urban developpement

Sustainable towns in Europe - What sustainable development policies should be developed, which local stakes should be addressed ?

"What sustainable development policies should be developed, which local stakes should be addressed?" Several European researchers gave their views on this question on 27th of April, 2007, based on innovative sustainable town planning experiments carried out in Germany, England, France, Italy and Spain.


Acoustics in theatres: CSTB sets the tone

Most large theatres owe much of their reputation to their acoustics. However, most theatres are used for different services requiring different acoustics: concert, opera, chamber music, etc. - which complicates the situation. In order to modulate the acoustic characteristics as a function of the performance, CSTB has developed the Carmen® system and has recently installed it in two prestigious halls: the Miskolc Palace des Arts in Hungary and the Norwich Theatre Royal in the United Kingdom.

CSTB's publications

The Le Corbusier Immersion Space

Virtual reality and virtual prototyping:projects take shape and come to life

Technical assessments and certifications of construction products and processes

European Technical Approval, Technical Assessment, tests, certifications, CE marking, Technical Application Document … Assessments of construction products and systems may be imposed by the regulations or voluntary, but they always have the same objective which is to verify and certify their quality. You will find in this new brochure, published by CSTB, an overview of the assessment scope.

Publishing, training, communication

Tools for the dissemination of knowledge and know-how to construction professionals