A word from

Sylvie Ravalet

Delegate General Director. Deputy CEO in charge of Strategy and Finance

Hervé Charrue

Deputy CEO in charge of Research and Development

Charles Baloche

Deputy CEO in charge of Technological Activities

A word from

Sylvie Ravalet

Delegate General Director
Deputy CEO in charge of Strategy and Finance

How do you explain the international success of the CSTB in sustainable construction?

Sustainable development is one of the biggest challenges faced by nations around the world. The expertise and reputation of the CSTB in France allow us to export our knowledge to address these issues.

We have a coherent and harmonized vision in all disciplines involving integration of buildings into the environment. In France and elsewhere, the CSTB operates in five key areas: Research and Expertise, Assessment, Certification, Testing, Dissemination of Knowledge. Our comprehensive services and system-based, comprehensive approach on three scales –material/system, building and city – are our main assets.

In the field of urban strategy, in response to a request from China in 2017, the CSTB entered into partnerships with the Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS) and the China Eco-City Academy (CECA) to develop a pilot eco-city concept. To date, five cities have been designated as pilot Sino-French eco-cities and have received HQETM development certification from Cerway, a subsidiary of the CSTB, and Cerqual Qualitel Certification, which provides certification internationally. The objective is to encourage other communities to engage in this process of sustainable planning. The partnership will continue with the support of the CSTB for the construction of demonstration housing blocks and buildings in each of the participating Chinese cities.

Our partners praised the CSTB’s open, participatory and intelligent approach. We adapt our methods and models to the local context, the culture of the country and its needs in a collaborative construction process with local stakeholders.

The CSTB wants to export this expertise to rapidly developing countries, particularly in Latin America, where the development of new urban models must include the preservation of a rich cultural heritage. HQETM Development certification, issued by Cerway, is a complementary path. As of 2017, this particular certification is available in five countries.

For buildings, HQE™ certification is issued in more than 25 countries. For example, it is the first environmental certification mark in Morocco, gateway to the rest of Africa. In 2017, Cerway certified projects in Tunisia, Algeria and West Africa. Also, our subsidiary signed an agreement with the Spanish technical center Tecnalia to deploy HQE™ environmental certification in Spain.

PoTo address the new challenges of sustainable development on the societal level, Certivéa, a subsidiary of the CSTB, offers stakeholders the new OsmoZ label specifically for the quality of work environment. Its reference system covers building quality and interior design, as well as human resources policy.

Does the CSTB export other expertise?

Our tradition of partnerships with research centers abroad enables us to work on research and consulting projects around the world. For example, in 2017, we signed an agreement to study acoustics with the Public Laboratory for Testing and Assessment (LPEE) in Morocco. The CSTB has other partnerships focused on acoustics, including with its counterparts in South Korea and in other European countries.

The CSTB is also widely recognized for its expertise in testing. Our multidisciplinary skills are deployed to provide test runs tailored to the complexity of each project, in areas such as resistance to climatic events, wind, moisture, seismic activity, fire and other environmental factors. In 2017, our experts in fire safety participated in projects for two new tunnels under the Suez Canal in Egypt. New techniques for testing fire resistance were developed at our Vulcain test facility to study the stability of the structures in the event of fire. In addition to developing test protocols, our teams are experts in customized implementation. For example, they developed a special test bench to assess the wind resistance of very large bay windows in Monaco.

If you add to this the growing interest in our approach to the assessment of products and systems used in the construction of buildings, all the business activities of the CSTB are exportable. Our success in 2017 is only a preview of promising international developments in the coming years.

Highlights 2017