Major test facilities

The research and test platform Aquasim, established by the CSTB in Nantes, is the only one of its kind in Europe: devoted to full scale experimentation and simulation of the water cycle within the system comprising buildings, their plots of land and the environment.

A “true-scale” approach to the water cycle in construction

Aquasim integrates the collection, production, transportation, use, treatment and return of water to the environment.

Water cycle in construction

Multidisciplinary research: central to responsible industrial challenges

The projects most often take a multi-scale approach (from the model to full scale, from the environment to the place of use) and integrate spatial-temporal dynamics and respond to various issues. These include drinking water quality, indoor piping system durability, wastewater treatment / on-site sanitation, rainwater recovery and use, greywater recycling, the plot of land's hydraulic response to climate events, the behavior of drainage systems during rainfall, the recovery of heat from wastewater, water microbiology and health issues (Legionella), etc.

Broader topics are also explored, in connection with environmental challenges:

  • Controlling water consumption and saving water
  • Managing rainwater as a resource
  • Monitoring sanitary safety requirements
  • Taking account of climate change
  • Support for adapting to changes in European regulations

Aquasim also enables validation of other types of approaches: pilot scale, digital simulation, etc.

A European scientific and technical network

Pays de Loire regional network

GEPEA clusters - École des Mines de Nantes school of engineering
LCPC / CETE Atlanpole

European laboratories

BRE Water Center (UK)
KIWA (Netherlands)
Aachen University (Germany)

Construction industries

Water cycle test platform
Aquasim / CSTB

Research & Development Department
Participating departments and services:
Climatology – Aerodynamics – Pollution – Purification – Sustainable Development | Economics and Social Sciences | Hydraulics and Sanitary Equipment | Information Technologies

Industrial companies

Suez Environnement (CIRSEE)
Veolia Eau (Anjou Recherche)
Sanitation SME

Institutes and Academics

BRGM (Orléans)
ENSAM (Paris)
ENSCR (Rennes)
EHESP (Rennes)
LCEE (Poitiers)
LCPME (Nancy)
ENPC (Marne-la-Vallée)
LEMMA (La Rochelle)
Scientific and Technical network

In addition to its participation in an academic network, Aquasim belongs to the Institute for Research on Urban Sciences and Techniques (IRSTV), of the European platform for Water and Sanitation. It collaborates with regional and national competitive clusters (Loire-Atlantique). It also develops partnerships with regional public establishments, along with technical research centers and industrial labs.