Rethinking housing for an increasingly urbanized world population will help create buildings with both a positive effect on well-being and a reduced impact on the environment. This will be true throughout their life cycle for new and renovated buildings alike.
- Improve buildings’ energy efficiency
The construction sector accounts for 40% of energy consumption in industrialized countries. While energy performance of newbuild is an obvious requirement, energy renovation of existing buildings is vital.
- Facilitating the construction of virtuous buildings
Responsible for 40% of waste production and 50% of resource consumption, the construction sector needs to step up its transition to a circular economy, from the production of materials to end-of-life management, as well as a change in the functionality of buildings.
- Adapting buildings to new uses and improving comfort
Because urban populations spend 90% of their time inside, wellbeing at home, at school or at work is key. And because our ways of living evolve throughout our lives, buildings need to adapt to new expectations and needs that change over the course of a lifetime.
- Integrating new construction methods
Alternatives to traditional construction such as digital design and 3D printing help to reduce costs, shorten delivery times and improve both the performance and sustainability of buildings.
- Supporting architectural exploits
Building higher, more densely, and with greater resilience, architects today are designing the heritage to be bequeathed to future generations. To make their projects a reality, innovative solutions need to be developed for building edifices that are as beautiful as they are sustainable.
Materials and solutions for sustainable and efficient construction
Through its position as designer, producer and distributor of solutions for the new build and renovation markets, Saint-Gobain is uniquely positioned to define the way the future will be built. We innovate and create new ways of building in order to ensure comfort for all and to contribute to designing buildings that are better for the environment and the climate.
Our vision for construction is global in scope. It encompasses quality, comfort and sustainability through the life cycle of our solutions and the buildings for which they are used —from the design stage and the choice of raw materials, through to building and deconstruction stages. It all relies on continuous, audacious and sustainable innovation, and leverages the opportunities made possible by new technologies, with one goal in mind: to revolutionize the way buildings are designed and built.
Committed to an increasingly circular economy
Some of the Group’s products, such as glass or gypsum, can be recycled indefinitely in a closed loop in their industrial process. The use of bio-sourced materials or those derived from the recovery of industrial co-products is crucial to ensuring our businesses tie in with a circular approach. We also encourage the adoption of a circular economy approach on construction sites by limiting waste and supporting recycling and reuse.
Reducing the carbon footprint of buildings
In order to meet the targets set in the Paris Climate Agreement, the global average building energy intensity per unit of floor area needs to be at least 30% lower than the levels measured in 2018. Saint-Gobain is focusing in particular on building insulation to help the sector progress toward net zero carbon. In 2020, we updated a method developed jointly with EY that estimates greenhouse gas emissions avoided by using our solutions. The updated method is applicable worldwide by factoring in the specific situation of each region, its climate, the existing building stock and the construction techniques available locally. It is a precious tool for improving the thermal performance of buildings. Digital modeling is another significant sector trend used for building design and construction. We have been leading the way in this field since 2004 with our digital models and “building information modeling” (BIM). This technology allows for previously inaccessible visualization and predictive methods to calculate the actual performance of a building and to correct design errors. Saint-Gobain has compiled a complete library of virtual objects available to industry stakeholders —architects, designers and contractors— to include in their digital models.
Construction chemicals also play a major role in the transition to low-carbon construction. Saint-Gobain is a key player on this strategic market. Innovative technologies and multiple applications of construction chemicals help cut energy consumption, reduce the carbon footprint of cement and concrete, and promote the circular economy.
Construction chemicals cover all the chemical products used to bond, join, seal, protect, reinforce and perfect various construction materials, both in new construction and renovation, for buildings and infrastructure (tunnels, bridges, roads, railways, dams, etc.).
Infography - Saint-Gobain Solutions for the Construction Chemicals.
A smaller footprint
Building differently also means developing light construction techniques and increasing the use of solutions such as prefabrication. Time savings, optimized construction phase, and a smaller environmental footprint: these are just some of the many benefits in this field. Flexible and allowing for greater architectural creativity, 3D printing is also becoming a reality. Saint-Gobain has successfully experimented with large-scale 3D printing at the Weber Beamix plant in Eindhoven, Netherlands. This business, one of the most advanced in the world, began its commercial phase in 2020 with a variety of projects, including bridges, stairs, urban furniture and even a single dwelling.
Comfortable living spaces for improved well-being
SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION ALSO MEANS MEETING OCCUPANTS’ EXPECTATIONS AND REFLECTING THEIR LIFESTYLES. RESIDENTIAL, PUBLIC AND OFFICE BUILDINGS: WE PROPOSE SOLUTIONS WITH A FOCUS ON THE COMFORT, WELL-BEING AND HEALTH OF EACH OF US
The Group constantly innovates with particular attention to the choice of materials and solutions, to the arrangement of space and to the energy efficiency of buildings. This is applicable both to new builds and renovation, a sector for which the solutions developed by the Group not only improve comfort —light, acoustic and thermal comfort— but also lower energy bills for the occupants.
Modular spaces for new lifestyles
Housing is an essential aspect of well-being and health. Living spaces need to adapt to changing family circumstances and life styles and need to become hybrid and modular, with rooms that can be changed to suit changing needs. Listening to its customers, Saint-Gobain invents multi-purpose solutions, which have the particular advantage of looking ahead to the demographic changes occurring in Western societies, making it possible for seniors to remain in their homes, for instance.
Solutions for acoustic comfort in schools
Good insulation means thermal comfort in buildings by maintaining an ideal temperature and reducing the need for heating and cooling. But for schools and educational facilities, good insulation also means better acoustic comfort and... improved concentration and understanding. Saint-Gobain solutions help create the right conditions for optimal learning!
With our customers: an intimate relationship
FOR OUR PROFESSIONAL CUSTOMERS WORKING IN THE RENOVATION, CONSTRUCTION AND INTERNAL HOME IMPROVEMENT MARKETS, WE ARE MORE THAN JUST DISTRIBUTORS: WE PROVIDE SOLUTIONS IN RESPONSE TO THEIR EVERYDAY EXPECTATIONS AND THEIR FUTURE ISSUES. LISTENING AND PROXIMITY ARE THE WATCHWORDS FOR IMPROVING PURCHASING PATHWAYS AND PERSONALIZING OUR OFFERING.
Our professional customers’ need for competitiveness and performance requires faultless service and personalized support, whichever Group brand they are dealing with.
Choosing your relationship and purchasing method
Professionals are often busy with work, so to make their lives easier our brands have rolled out an array of channels as well as various services in order to save them time. The customer relationship can be initiated in an outlet or online, or it can even remain entirely remote. The health crisis has amplified this trend and Saint-Gobain is stepping up the rollout of new digital services to provide professionals with the necessary responsiveness and availability.
Customized and on demand
Each customer has different needs depending on their trade, expertise and even type of clients. To provide them with the best support for their projects, Saint-Gobain is constantly adapting its range of solutions and services.
There is no single consumer, especially in the construction sector. We are dealing with a chain of decisions that goes from the final consumer, who will be the occupant of the building, to the investor, upstream, passing through the architect, the builder, the distributor of materials and the craftsman who implements the products.
Learning how to prepare for the future
Listening, appropriate communication channels, customized products and services: Saint-Gobain goes that one step further by offering its professional customers technical training tailored to their trade and local market.
In France especially, Saint-Gobain is leveraging the government’s recovery plan for the improvement of the energy performance of buildings. In October 2020, we rolled out a multichannel training program for trade professionals called “Objectif RGE” (Recognized Environmental Stewardship) combined with a certification service in Point.P outlets. This provides trade professionals with the opportunity to gain knowledge in renovation challenges and solutions.
Solutions to improve productivity
Productivity is a concern for all our customers: trade professionals as well as construction and industrial businesses. To make their work easier, save them time and boost their performance, Saint-Gobain rolls out services and solutions, such as SOLU+, a free costing tool for renovation projects. In just a few clicks, trade professionals get a detailed costing for the planned solutions for these projects, such as the installation of a concrete slab or roof cavity insulation. They can then place an order online or finalize the quotation using the Tolteck software supported by Saint-Gobain.