As in previous years, the CSTB’s Technical Experimentation Assessment (ATEx) activity was very strong. More than 130 ATEx’s were carried out in 2017. It shows how innovation in the construction industry stems from new products, as well as their integration into works under equally innovative conditions. This all benefits the performance of the final works.
These assessments focus on facades, roof coverings and roof systems, plus structures and coatings. Innovations are growing in complexity to meet several performance requirements simultaneously (fire, seismic, thermal, etc.). The comprehensive approach offered by the ATEx is valuable: innovations can be integrated, while ensuring that the technical response to one requirement does not compromise meeting another.
The Commission Responsible for Issuing Technical Appraisals (CCFAT) changed the Technical Appraisal procedure to refocus on the most innovative techniques. The CSTB is continuing to support project developers by examining and guiding their applications. For manufacturers of products or systems whose techniques are sufficiently mature and no longer innovations, the CSTB launched the Transitional Technical Appraisal (ATT) in 2017. This service is suitable for products that do not yet have the reference documents required for rollout as conventional techniques (standard practices). With the ATT, the CSTB supports proper use of products and builds trust in sector stakeholders.
The CSTB guides stakeholders in technological innovation at every stage of their development. To foster the emergence of systems on the market and test them with confidence in their first full-scale deployments, the CSTB examines ATEx requests.
Furthermore the ATEx enriches knowledge about innovations, particularly unexpected risks related to implementation. This is extremely valuable in the context of Technical Appraisals, which inform stakeholders about the fitness for purpose of systems, enabling safe, full-scale deployment.
The CSTB assessment services include European Technical Assessments that are conducted upstream of CE marking. In 2017, the CSTB reviewed over 1,000 assessments, evidence of the vitality of technological innovation in the construction industry in France.
To increase recognition of the quality of products on the market, the CSTB is also developing a comprehensive certification offering, in particular via the QB mark. In 2017, it is expanding its classifications to help stakeholders select certified products based on their uses in buildings. Beyond the UPEC classification already well known among professionals, the CSTB is extending this scheme to different product families.
Finally, a word on Testing. The reliability of assessments and certifications must be based on indisputable data. Physical measurement by testing remains the surest way to get this data. The CSTB continues to develop its expertise in test engineering and offers stakeholders more than 1,200 types of tests.