Sometimes, the industry may offer a product, material or semi-finished product which can be used as a component in various products, systems or equipment, but for which there is no reference system characterizing certain intrinsic features (no testing standards, for example).

The intrinsic characteristics of a product must be known in order to assess its fitness for use. The CSTB relies on its network of experts, working in a collegiate manner, to evaluate these characteristics. Once that has been done, the CSTB issues a Preliminary Technical Evaluation of Material (ETPM) report. The report constitutes a shared working basis which other assessment bodies (Specialized Groups, Technical Experimentation Assessment (ATEx) committees, etc.) can use for evaluating innovative construction systems. An ETPM can also be issued in response to specifications in documents on standard practices, such as France’s Unified Codes of Practice (NF-DTU) for which there is no reference system characterizing the product.

ETPMs are not published. However, they are provided to the applicant. The assessments always include the following sentence, indicating the scope of the assessment, in order to prevent improper or inappropriate use.

Because this Preliminary Technical Evaluation of Material applies to a material, not a product or construction work, it is not a Technical Appraisal within the meaning of the amended order of March 21, 2012; it does not obviate the need to check the suitability of the material for incorporation into a given construction work, by consulting the reference documents of the relevant application (DTUs or Technical Appraisals).

Mandatory or voluntary assessment?

Applying for an ETPM is a voluntary procedure.

Applying for an Preliminary Technical Evaluation of Material

ETPM application procedure

The confidentiality rules for the ETPM are identical to those applicable to the Technical Appraisal procedure.

Price, processing period and validity of the ETPM

This procedure is applied quite rarely and the work required varies from case to case. The price is evaluated accordingly.