I am an individual and I have a proposal for an earthen construction; could CRAterre-ENSAG be a partner in my project?

For an earthen architecture proposal at an individual level, CRAterre advises that you contact Asterre: the National Association for Earthen Professionals which brings together artisans and entrepreneurs, producers of materials, architects, engineers and professional training organisations, and also welcomes representatives of regional organisations (PNR, etc.). It also welcomes other associations that develop activities within the field of earthen architecture, and which promote national heritage, contemporary architecture, and research on materials and techniques. For more information about our international partners, please visit UNESCO Chair or Partners.

What services does CRAterre-ENSAG offer?

CRAterre-ENSAG has five (5) main areas of activity:


  • Soil analysis and setting up laboratories
  • Establishment of construction procedures
  • Assistance for the management and improvement of production units
  • Quality control of production units
  • Courses, conferences and exhibition development to explain properties and potential use of materials
  • Experimentation of architectural models at the ‘Grands Ateliers’ of Villefontaine (Isère)
  • Assistance in shaping national policies on matters of standardisation
    Heritage conservation
    • Site diagnostics
    • Architectural and topographic survey
    • Archaeological analysis of constructions
    • Assistance for conservation, restoration and rehabilitation of sites
    • Assistance for the promotion of heritage assets
    • Development of management plans with stakeholders
    • Training of heritage site managers
    • Organisation of on-site training
    • Training for local authorities
    • Assistance in the preparation of nomination dossiers to the World Heritage List
    • Heritage inventory and atlas

      Human settlements

      • Analysis of construction cultures
      • Economic studies in the construction industry / Contextual studies (social, environmental, physical and economic)
      • Assistance for the design of architectural models adapted to local social, environmental, physical and economic contexts
      • Assistance for the design of models adapted to post-emergency situations
      • Training of masons and entrepreneurs
      • Support for ‘do-it-yourself’ construction
      • Support for the establishment and use of non-pollutant construction procedures
      • Assistance for contractors
      • Assistance for architects
        • Post-Masters: Specialised Diploma in Earthen Architecture “DSA Terre”, 2 year specialisation
        • PhD
        • Training of trainers
        • Short training for building professionals
        • On-site training
        • Development of training programmes (technical schools, universities)
        • Creation of educational tools
        • Organisation of seminars and meetings
        • Academic and scientific cooperation
        • Training in primary and secondary schools (discovery of materials with students)
          Awareness and information
          • Conferences
          • Development of interactive exhibitions on materials and earthen architecture
          • Production and publication of books/journals
          • Access to the specialised resource centre for earthen architecture

            If I represent an association, an NGO, or an international organization, and I would like to collaborate with CRAterre-ENSAG, what approach should I take?

            In order for CRAterre-ENSAG to asses your proposal and get in touch with your for possible collaboration, we recommend that you send a written request. Your request should be concise (2,500 words maximum) and include:
            1.    An introduction to your organisation and its history
            2.    A description of your proposal (objectives and planned activities)
            3.    Details of your expectations from CRAterre-ENSAG
            Please send your email to: craterre@grenoble.archi.fr

            Where can I find documentation about earthen architecture?

            CRAterre-ENG has over 12,000 titles related to construction cultures and sustainable development in its Documentation Centre, located at Maison Levrat in Villefontaine. Many of these are available for free download or for sale. The Documentation Centre is presently inventorying its collections and is open primarily to students and PhD candidates. Please contact CRAterre in Villefontaine directly for the Documentation Centre’s opening hours and lending terms.