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3 minutes min

Building better for the people

Posted on 08.04.2023 - updated on: 11.04.2024

Did you know?


minutes of sleep each night if exposed to natural light during the day


Construction is the 2nd sector with the highest risks of musculoskeletal disorders

  • Sustainable buildings is not only about the planet, but also about taking care of the people (both occupants & people who build)

  • As we spend 90% of our time indoors, buildings have a high effect on the health of occupants

  • In buildings: exposure to health risks both for installers and occupants (for example, exposure to certain substances can lead to respiratory diseases)

  • More than protecting the health of people, buildings should also improve their comfort, whether at work or when relaxing

  • Need to take it into account at design stage, to choose the right materials from the start

  • As a building materials manufacturer: duty to protect the health of installers & occupants, and want to provide solutions to improve their comfort

Protecting health & safety on jobsites

  • Need to protect the health of builders (for example: release of hazardous substances from construction products on jobsites can lead to respiratory diseases and cancer)

  • 2 main drivers: 

    • Reduce builders' exposure to hazardous substances during installation: choose products with limited levels of hazardous substances and specific properties during installation (ex: low-dust, non-emissive)

    • Improve their working conditions: improve construction waste management (reduce waste at source, optimize sorting and collection); reduce risk of musculoskeletal disorders (light and easy-to-handle products), limite nuisances and pollution on the construction site

Improving health & wellbeing indoors

  • First level to consider: cover basic needs, to ensure that occupants don't suffer from sick building syndrome. Second level: provide occupants with better living conditions

  • Need to design buildings with a holistic approach, to balance different aspects and maximize the wellbeing of occupants

  • Safety, security and adequate space are necessary conditions for comfort, but not sufficient for indoor comfort

  • 4 main levels:

    • Improve indoor air quality:  remove emissions of pollutants at source by chosing the right materials, implement a ventilation strategy, maintain humidity levels between 30-60%

    • Better acoustics: in building design, pay attention to noise insulation and absorption. 

    • Better thermal comfort: design for comfort both the building (envelope, structure, servicing) and the landscape (presence of vegetation and water features), take into account site-specific conditions

    • Better visual comfort: access to daylight with good distribution of light inside

How we contribute

  • Saint-Gobain solutions are available to take action on those drivers

  • Health & safety of builders: products with specific properties during installation (low-dust, soft touch, non-irritant,...), non-hazardous waste, lightweight materials, easy-to-handle products

  • Indoor air quality: products to purify indoor air by scavenging certain VOCs (formaldehyde), low-emissive products certified with labels, solutions for superior air tightness, solutions contributing to the performance of ventilation systems

  • Better acoustics: insulation solutions, absorbing acoustic ceilings and panels, sound insulating glazing, ...

  • Better thermal comfort: insulation, smart membranes, glazing, ventilated ceilings, ...

  • Visual comfort: transparent products to allow access to daylight, opaque interior products to contribute to the distribution of daylight