Research orientations

Topic 1 - Innovative materials for the design of performing, ecologically responsible and durable concrete

This topic brings together themes related to fundamental properties and the development of new cementitious composites. It aims to develop ecologically responsible and performing cementitious materials for generic applications or those requiring specific properties or performance levels. The research focuses on binders and local alternative supplementary cementing materials, the valorization of mine tailings, recycled and marginal aggregates, geopolymers, self-healing concrete and concrete for 3D printing (Priorities P2, P3 and P6). New knowledge in the fields of physico-chemico-mechanical characterization, nanotechnology and hydration of cementitious materials, and various groups of alternative binders will be used to develop concrete with a reduced carbon footprint (CO2 capture), made from local materials to build infrastructure characterized by a lifespan of at least 100 years (Priorities P1 and P3).


Topic 2 - Hybrid and multiscale design of structures

Hybrid and multiscale design seeks to optimize the volumes of materials and the reinforcement of structural elements (P4). It is based on the integrated selection of materials, structural concepts and construction methods in order to minimize the environmental impact – from construction to deconstruction (P1). This research topic applies the scientific and technological breakthroughs of Topic1 to the innovative design of concrete structures. It includes multiscale design based on the functional links between the microstructure’s key parameters and macroscopic performances. Numerical tools seek to predict structural behaviour and lifespan to optimize choices in terms of design and durability characteristics. This research topic includes the development of modular structures to minimize the impact of construction work, improve quality and minimize the use of materials, thanks to the development of hybrid structural elements (P1).


Topic 3 - Sustainable management of the built environment and smart cities

The sustainable management of the built environment rests on an approach that includes innovative practices in terms of cementitious materials (Topic 1), the design of the built environment (Topic 2) and the forecasting of technical, economic and environmental performances. Topic 3 includes the development of techniques for the diagnosis and prognosis of a structure’s condition and the development of design support models for planning interventions with innovative materials and techniques (P1, P3 and P5). A life-cycle approach will be used to integrate environmental aspects and economic aspects in decision-making processes. These tools will help project managers make optimized choices when substantial investments are necessary. Transdisciplinary integration (architecture, engineering and finance) will focus on the parametric construction of concrete structures in order to design projects adapted to their context by minimizing environmental impacts (P1).