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Innovations and new techniques in the field of building construction have multiplied to a remarkable extent in Europe and in France during the last 30 years.
In France, in particular, the very great increase in the rate of construction of dwellings since the 1950's has led to the adoption of new building methods, and to new building materials that have allowed the demand to be met.
The questions which arose at the outset of the use of these materials and of these methods were the following: What will be the durability of this method, especially in comparison with that of known traditional building methods? How will this substitute material last compared with a traditional material of known durability?
These questions were of some importance because durability was an important aspect of the techno-economic choices that had to be made at that time between these materials and these methods.
In France, this was dealt with easily by means of a certificate of suitability for use and durability in service known as an agrement certificate. This certificate was instituted in 1945, revised in 1958 and transformed into the Avis Technique (Technical Opinion) in 1969.
But what were the methodologies for the assessment of durability? How have they developed with time?
These are the questions that we shall attempt to answer in this paper.
methodologies, assessment, durability, new materials, building, laboratory experimentation, indicator of aging, environmental agents, user stresses, building materials
Engineer, Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment, Paris,