The know-how of builders is based on an empirical but often profound knowledge of the behavior of earthen materials. Little known to technicians and scientists, science is finally developing essential tools to better understand its nature and facilitate its use.

Developing construction techniques

Make it easy

Our involvement in research projects, operational projects and educational projects aims to maintain the high level of skills of our teams, but also to feed research into raw earth materials with operational experience, and to improve operations with the results of research.

schéma matériaux

The Matter/Materials theme covers three areas of work

  • 1

    Understanding matter and materials

  • 2

    Characterization of building systems

  • 3

    Setting up production lines

Skills and services

The design and construction department offers its expertise in the following services:

Support for project managers and contractors

  • 1 Understand the project (location, size, technique, objectives)
  • 2 Study the context (heritage, materials, know-how) :

    • Identification and analysis of local soil
    • Choice of application technique based on soil analysis results or adaptation of material to chosen technique
    • Possible formulation of the material to obtain optimized characteristics (according to thermal, acoustic, aesthetic and structural objectives)
  • 3 Analyze feasibility (structural, economic, planning, etc.)

  • 4 To guide towards adjustments in architectural and technical design:

    • Specific architectural design support
    • Specific detail booklet for other materials
    • Structural calculation notes (in partnership with a structural design office)
    • Assistance in drafting specific written specifications and defining the implementation schedule according to the specificities of the material for the company's tender.
  • 5 Helping you choose the right company
  • 6 Site supervision support
  • 7 Support for acceptance of earthworks

Company support

  • 1 Analyze project feasibility (structural, economic, planning, etc.)
  • 2 Support in responding to invitations to tender, in costing the raw earth lot
  • 3 Analyze site soil and prospect local quarries
  • 4 Formulating the material
  • 5 Assist with the selection of a structural design office (EXE plans and calculation notes)
  • 6 Train a site team by building prototype walls
  • 7 Set up production lines and quality controls
  • 8 Support for the development of specific tools adapted to the implementation technique and the scale of the worksite


The term "materials" takes into account the entire chain of their production and use to build our living environment. From the analysis of the potential of the territory where the raw material can be extracted, to the successive stages in the production of materials, structures and buildings.

The whole process is examined through the prism of territorial development, and above all the role of the men and women involved, around one or more constructive cultures, and the potential benefits they derive (financial, well-being).

Define a method for identifying and leveraging local resources in housing production

  • Extraction and production of building materials in regional development
  • Enhancing the value of local materials and adapting their associated know-how to contemporary construction.
  • Setting up production chains: basic conditions and key stages.

Caractériser les techniques de construction en terre et d’autres matériaux non industriels

  • Identify construction techniques with high utilization potential and prepare and support the process of characterizing them (in conjunction with STI laboratories).
  • Exploration and characterization of simplified (field) test procedures for earth construction
  • Assistance in drawing up standard documents, from Atex level (BTCs, Pisé, etc.) to higher levels of standardization.

Exploring possible uses for new urban resources under construction

  • Assessing construction uses for excavated soil
  • Reuse of building materials/components: potential and limits