Research activities

Heat transfer of the building in its environment


The control of the quality of the environments, the energy efficiency of the buildings and the associated systems as well as their control-command are at the center of the work carried out in the group. The building is a complex system in which conductive heat transfers interact, radiation, convection and advection / diffusion. Beyond the interaction aspects of the building with its close climatic environment, the building becomes a central node in the networks of generation, storage and distribution of energy. The question of multiplicity of scales of observation and analysis is widening and therefore imposes itself on us.

Coupled thermal transfer problems can be local, at the scale of the material, at the scale of the surface of a wall, at the scale of a component, at the scale of a building or even at the scale of the district, of the city.

The understanding of the coupling between phenomena is currently hindered by the complex entanglement of the spatial scale, the time scale and the scale of observation / analysis. The time scale can vary from a few milliseconds for turbulent flow problems to several decades when it comes to assessing the impact of a geothermal system. The spatial scale can be almost punctual and vary up to several kilometers when it comes to examining the building in its environment, integrated into an urban island. It is indeed the scale of observation / analysis that will be the main theme of the modeling of coupled transfers in the building: the adaptation of the models to a particular problem will impose the simplifications and / or the reductions whose impact will then be In addition, the phenomena of heat and mass transfer are subject to significant inaccuracies related to the good knowledge and uncertainty of the temporal parameters related to the environment, to the control of energy systems and to the human presence. The models proposed at the different scales are validated / calibrated by full-scale tests in the experimental cell with a MINIBAT controlled atmosphere or in situ.



  • Identify, describe and model the physical mechanisms involved in thermal, aeraulic and water transfer phenomena at different scales,
  • Synthesize this knowledge in small-scale models allowing the simulation, design and control of thermal systems at the building scale,
  • Validate / calibrate the calculation codes,
  • Master the flows (thermal and hydric) through the envelope to tend towards autonomous buildings in energy and comfortable,
  • Develop methods as well as digital and experimental tools transferable to industrialists and design offices.


Scientific skills

  • Modeling and simulation of coupled thermo-hygro-aeraulic phenomena
  • Reduced dimensions of state models
  • Analysis of the numerical properties of the models
  • Experimental identification of parameters
  • Internal model control of energy flows in the building.
  • Experimentation on a cell in a controlled environment
  • Experimentation and in-situ monitoring


Some international collaborations

University of Tshingua (China), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal and University of Concordia, (Canada), Technical University of Construction of Bucharest (Romania), Royal Belgian Military School and Catholic University of Louvain ( Belgium), Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy), Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, Curitiba (Brazil), University of Kragujevac (Serbia),

Some national collaborations

LASIE (La Rochelle), LOCIE (Chambery), Mines-Paritech (Paris and Sophia Antipolis), PIMENT (Reunion Island)

Recent industrial partnerships


CETHIL-EDF joint laboratory

High energy efficiency buildings (BHEE)

INSAVALOR (Advanced R & D training) training:

"Building Thermal", "TRNSYS Simulation Software"