CRENAU laboratory - "Centre de Recherche Architectures Urbanités Nantais" - is the result of the merging of two laboratories of Nantes School of Architecture :
- CERMA, founded in 1971 was specialized in the methodological and numerical approaches of the built environment (including climate and energy issues) and
- LAUA, founded in 1991, which worked in socio-ethnographic approaches for urban factory and forms of urbanity.
CRENAU laboratory is the Nantes team of UMR 1563 CNRS / MCC / ECN "Ambiances Architectures Urbanités" with CRESSON laboratory, at the National School of Architecture of Grenoble since 2015.
Researchers work on housing, living environment and urban public spaces. They spread a wide range of competences in architecture, urban planning, physical sciences, computer graphics, sociology, anthropology, history and arts.
CRENAU and CRESSON lead the International Ambiances Network "Ambiances.net" , which aims at structuring and developing the research field of architectural and urban ambiances, with twenty international team members (Germany, Brazil, Canada, United States, ...).
CRENAU is involved in a partnership with the Institute for Research on Urban Sciences and Techniques, IRSTV -,founded by CNRS, which leads an interdisciplinary research in the field of urban environment.
CRENAU is involved in research master programmes of Nantes School of architecture and particulary in the speciality "Perceptible atmosphere and urban forms" of the master of Sciences and Techniques on Urban Environment, which relies on researchers and scientific and research facilities of CRENAU.