On March 26, 2014, as part of its mission to guide the construction sector in facing the emerging challenges of sustainable construction, the CSTB inaugurated VULCAIN, a major research and testing facility focusing on fire resistance in innovative structures. This new research platform devoted to fire safety, located on the CSTB Marne-La-Vallée site, offers new scientific and technical perspectives for stakeholders in innovation.

Risk mitigation and fire safety: new requirements and new challenges

Emerging technical, economic and environmental issues concerning construction force the sector to deal with major changes and increasing requirements: urgency of renovation of the building stock, improved energy performance in new and existing buildings and bolstering of the competitiveness of French companies.

This new reality requires stakeholders to adapt their construction approaches and develop more efficient solutions, which directly affect the safety of structures. Fire safety is one of the CSTB’s top scientific and technological priorities in advancing sustainable buildings and integrating them into neighborhoods and cities.

To help the sector meet these challenges, the CSTB, with the support of the French state and Paris Region authorities, used its expertise in risk mitigation to develop VULCAIN, a unique international research, testing and experimentation platform.

Targeted responses to the need for better fire safety, in line with the emerging challenges of the sector

VULCAIN, a major research and testing facility focusing on the fire resistance of innovative structures, aims to improve the fire safety of all built structures: buildings, industrial sites, transportation infrastructure, etc.

It brings together unique characteristics and technical specificities that enable it to reach beyond standard testing solutions and simulations:

  • approach combining live testing and simulation
  • exceptional size for testing modular and, when needed, tall structures representing full-scale assemblies
  • appropriate metrology

With this design, VULCAIN offers stakeholders in France and abroad major advances:

  • Scientifically: it is now possible to integrate issues of fire safety starting with the general design of structures, especially for buildings with high energy performance requirements, whether new or renovated.
  • Environmentally and economically: the structures of buildings can be optimized to reduce their environmental footprint and improve their economic performance to contribute to the competitiveness of businesses.

Find out more: The CSTB launches VULCAIN