The CSTB

To attain the ambitious goals of the energy and digital transition, while supporting sustainable development, the building industry will have to be transformed. The Scientific and Technical Center for Building (CSTB), with its cutting-edge expertise, continues to adapt its services, resources and organization to support these transformations among all stakeholders. Society is evolving and citizens have new expectations for better living conditions. The CSTB therefore focuses not only on the technical, energy and environmental aspects of buildings, but also on human health, accessibility and comfort. As a recognized expert in BIM, the CSTB builds up data for use in digital models helping construction and urban development professionals to streamline their work.

Three strategic lines

To meet the major challenges for transforming the construction and development industry, the CSTB is deploying structural actions along three strategic lines for the 2014-2017 period.

Overall building performance

A comprehensive approach to building performance is needed to achieve a range of goals: ecological and energy transition, preservation of health, risk prevention, construction and renovation cost control and building usages adapted to society's needs.

High-level support for stakeholders engaged in innovation

Helping companies reach new markets and create new jobs requires reinforced support for stakeholders engaged in the process of innovation.

An integrated approach at the urban and territorial scale

An essential aspect of the push for sustainable cities is improved building performance for a better quality of life. This requires an integrated approach all the way up to the city and territorial scale.

To implement these three strategic lines, the CSTB organizes its activities and resources around:

  • Five scientific and technical priorities: Energy & Environment; Health & Comfort; Risk Mitigation; Digital Technologies; Uses, Economy and Industry Transitions. This enables a multi-criteria scientific and technical analysis encompassing all aspects of sustainable development, as well as a cross-disciplinary approach which only a center such as the CSTB can provide.
  • Two levels of integration: components integrated into a building structure, and buildings integrated into the city. The time dimension must also be integrated into the analysis, taking into account the overall life cycle.
  • Five activities: Research and consulting, Assessment, Certification, Testing, Dissemination of knowledge.

Five scientific and technical priorities

Energy & Environment

The goal is to improve and guarantee the energy and environmental performance of built spaces. This is based on comprehensive life-cycle assessments taking into account the opportunities of the circular economy.
The scientific and technical scope covers existing buildings, as well as new constructions.

Health & Comfort

The goal is to study ambient conditions in the urban space and indoors, to identify risk factors for the local population and offer solutions for protection and improvements.
The scientific and technical challenge consists of analyzing exposure to chemical, biological and physical risk factors at different scales and developing tools for engineering and managing risks to health, air and water quality, ambient conditions and electromagnetic fields.

Risk Mitigation

The goal is to develop a multi-risk approach to construction and renovation activities in order to integrate all of types of risk from the start of the design phase.
The scientific and technical challenge consists of developing performance-based approaches for studying reaction to fire, safety levels and simulation reliability, multi-risk scenarios and the vulnerability of building stock to climatic events.

Digital Technologies

The goal is to develop collaborative and multi-criteria digital tools for professionals in urban development, design, construction and renovation, to help them modernize their practices.
The results of this work are proposed in a catalog of products and industrial systems available on the cloud.

Uses, Economy and Industry Transitions

The goal is to rethink buildings and living spaces with a focus on new forms of usage, expectations and environmental constraints. Support is necessary to encourage change in the processes of urban development, construction design and management.
Based on observations and field experience, the scope of the scientific and technical work covers methods and tools for an economic analysis of the energy transition, adaptations of the built environment to vulnerable populations and different usages, and changes in industrial production processes and capabilities.

2014-2017 Objectives and Performance Contract

Jointly developed by State representatives and the CSTB, the 2014-2017 Objectives and Performance Contract reflects a shared commitment by the signatories to ensure that the CSTB plays a growing role as a benchmark scientific and technical partner, at the scale of buildings and cities, supporting stakeholders in their efforts to create environmentally responsible living spaces that meet the needs of the population.

This contract clearly defines the central mission of the CSTB to contribute to the ecological and energy transition. The keys to fulfilling this mission are research on the overall performance of buildings, with an obligation to deliver results, to support innovative stakeholders and to integrate these gains at the scale of the city.