By bringing the research potential of laboratory-ENSAG CRATerre and constructive cultures, the 2011-2014 research project being developed by the Architecture Research Unit, Environment and constructive cultures addresses the central issue of housing and habitat in relation to the issue of sustainable development and eco-construction. The unavoidable question is directly related to the choice of type of development to which we want to go.

In France, reports on the poor housing of the Fondation Abbé Pierre highlight the housing shortage plaguing the country. Just over six million people now live in precarious conditions, which represents nearly ten percent of the French population. Beyond this segment that is experiencing increasing difficulties, housing remains a major item of expenditure for the rest of our citizens. More broadly, the issue of home ownership and credit is for most of us, a challenge on the scale of life ... In this context, the lack of access to housing - despite the existence of a housing rights now enshrined in legislation - interview architects as agents of the production process in the construction industry. Although they can work on all aspects, it is their responsibility to reflect on this fundamental issue and to participate proactively in search of spatial and technical solutions best suited to changing the situation. We consider it essential that our research unit to take up this issue and form new generations of designers involved.

Internationally, the issue is even more sensitive. That's over half the world population lives in conditions of discomfort notorious space and, in too many cases, in conditions of hygiene and safety are not even worthy of minimum standards recognized by the United Nations ... The issue of access to housing is also another level of complexity in situations of prevention and risk management of natural disasters over which the researchers of the unit are positioned. So it's a global issue that concerns us all.

From the qualitative point of view, choices made in the field of materials and modes of territorial coverage and spatial organization have a direct impact on health, energy and the economy of the country. Internationally, the major choices about the mode of production of building materials and urban organization irreversibly affect on natural resources and balance global climate ... These colossal stakes warrant, in our view, the mobilization of all the creative energy and reflexive together architects, planners, engineers, anthropologists and sociologists, historians and philosophers, gathered in a multidisciplinary team. There are now more than twenty years, our experience of social housing on the island of Mayotte, made us realize the magnitude of the chain of consequences which was part simply to ask a mud brick on another, and to launch a local chain of production and construction. Thus, the aim of the research unit is to contribute significantly to developing the most intelligent solutions for our future. This path which links research to teaching has been initiated with the last four-year 2005-2009. It relies on research and development projects that enhance the testing of prototypes made of eco-housing in the program "Under the sun ... exactly," the "Solar Decathlon" (Madrid 2010) and its variations in the territory of Saone et Loire (71) 1. This research should be located with a view to developing the project "City of sustainable construction," with its "workshop on" his "workshop proptotype" and "workshop inhabited" (or eco-district demonstration) that changing part of Grands Ateliers de l'Isle d'Abeau. Finally, other R & D prototypes of human settlements and economic housing "located" will also be made in the south and through the intervention of reconstruction after natural disasters during the period 2011 - 2014.

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Translated from CRA Terre