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Saint-Gobain: The Latest Architecture and News

Multi-Purpose Design: Hybrid Spaces for a Sustainable Future

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Similar to a chameleon that changes color to blend in with its environment, architecture must constantly evolve and adapt to changing demands. A few decades ago, homes used to be associated solely with private life and rest, while workspaces were exclusively designed for just that: work. It was common for each use to be separated into its own room, making enclosed, rigid spaces the standard norm for architects to follow. That is, of course, until new living and working patterns blurred these boundaries to respond to contemporary trends.

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Façade Solutions That Enhance Net Zero Architecture

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Moving towards a sustainable future is a global challenge that involves all disciplines working together. According to the 2021 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction, almost 40% of carbon emissions come from the construction industry. This places a heavy responsibility on the industry, which must be open to exploring innovative strategies, technologies, and materials in order to pave the road towards a universal sustainability goal: reaching carbon neutrality by no later than 2050.

With that in mind, this article presents three specific products and systems –low-carbon glass, low-carbon concrete, and lightweight materials– that architects are applying in their projects to contribute to a low-impact architectural design.

Winners Announced for 18th International Saint-Gobain Architecture Student Contest

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In the face of increasingly intensive planet-wide challenges, it is now clear that the construction sector must shift rapidly and comprehensively toward sustainable construction. The aim of this mobilization must be to drastically and permanently reduce construction-related greenhouse gas emissions, to preserve non-renewable natural resources, to reduce energy consumption, and to provide decent, comfortable housing for all.

In the 2023 Sustainable Construction Barometer, architects are identified as best placed to drive forward sustainable construction (40%, just after public institutions, 44%). And in order to do this, they must be equipped with the knowledge and tools to carry this forward.

Winners Announced for 13th Saint-Gobain International Gypsum Trophy

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Every two years, starting in 1998, the Saint-Gobain International Gypsum Trophy has awarded the most recent developments for quality craftsmanship in drywall systems and plastering. This year, the 13th edition of the Gypsum Trophy took place in Athens on April 28th, 2023. From the Americas to Asia, from Europe to Africa, 73 projects from 27 countries competed in six categories to win one of the 15 prizes of the competition.

Participating contractors combine their know-how and creativity with Saint-Gobain plaster and dry lining systems to carry out high-performance projects. Whereas some are built on existing historical structures, others create something completely new. Similarly, some projects were completed with the help of over a thousand employees/teammates, while others by just a few.

See this year's winners below, as well as the details of the Awards.

Towards Sustainable and Affordable Housing: Is 3D Printing the Future or the Present?

In recent years, the construction industry has faced unprecedented challenges. A lack of skilled workers is driving up costs of labor, there is a global housing shortage, and the effects of climate change around the world are clearer than ever. Therefore, questioning traditional construction methods and pushing the limits of innovation has become a top priority, forcing the industry to implement new technologies as they get on board the digital transformation era. There is one innovation, however, that looks particularly promising: 3D construction printing. Although relatively recent, the technology has already been successfully tested in numerous structures, houses and apartment buildings, reshaping residential construction as we know it. Hence, 3D printing could very well be a viable alternative for more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective mass housing solutions in the near future, positively impacting people’s lives and contributing to greener, healthier cities.

Winners of Saint-Gobain’s International Gypsum Trophy 2021

Winners of Saint-Gobain’s International Gypsum Trophy 2021 - Featured Image
Courtesy of Saint-Gobain’s International Gypsum Trophy 2021

Today, drywall and gypsum-based systems are currently present in almost all architectural works. These allow you to coat buildings with products that combine, among other attributes, construction ease, fire safety and the possibility of recycling, both in historic structures or completely new constructions. Since 1998, Saint-Gobain - one of the largest distributors of these types of systems - has awarded the projects that best apply them in their solutions, dividing them into 6 categories (Ceilings, Plaster, Plasterboard, Innovation & Sustainability, Residential, and Non-Residential). The submitted projects are meant to demonstrate how the architects managed to ingeniously unite the company's products with innovative solutions to overcome each of the difficulties that the works or contexts impose.

In its 12th edition, participants came from 30 different countries and showcased 74 projects. See the 14 awardees below:

Multi Comfort: Meet the Winners of the 16th Edition of the Saint-Gobain International Student Contest

Saint-Gobain has announced the results for the 16th edition of its international Multi Comfort Student Contest. This year, the challenge was to convert the post-industrial area of the Coignet company in Saint-Denis (France) into a space for living, learning, and leisure in the heart of a large green space, respecting both the historical heritage and the needs of sustainable development of modern neighborhoods, in collaboration with the city of Saint-Denis.

Learn more about the top three winning projects below.

How Can We Reduce Carbon Emissions in Architectural Projects?

Since the 1970s, humanity’s resource consumption began to exceed what the planet could renew in a year. That is, we are withdrawing and polluting nature more than it can naturally recover. According to the World Bank, if the world's population reaches even the projected number of 9.6 billion people by 2050, it will take almost three Earth planets to provide the natural resources needed to maintain humanity's current lifestyle.

Every day an enormous amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere through industry, transportation, burning fossil fuels and even respiration of plants and living things. As the consequences of climate change become clearer, both governments and private sector companies are setting targets for carbon emission reductions, since these are regarded as the main greenhouse gases, and their high concentration in the atmosphere lead to air pollution and acid rain, among other consequences.

Learn How to Avoid Energy Loss in Your Buildings

Thermal comfort becomes very evident when it is not attended to. When thermal conditions are adequate in one location, our body is in balance with the environment allowing us to perform activities normally. On the other hand, when a space is too hot or too cold, we soon see changes in our mood and body. Dissatisfaction with the thermal environment occurs when the heat balance is unstable, that is when there are differences between the heat produced by the body and the heat that the body loses to the environment.

ArchDaily's Sustainability Glossary : G-H-I

It is expected that within the next few of decades, Earth will have absolutely nothing left to offer whoever/whatever is capable of surviving on it. Although the human race is solely responsible for the damages done to the planet, a thin silver lining can still be seen if radical changes were to be done to the way we live on Earth and how we sustain it.

Since architects and designers carry a responsibility of building a substantial future, we have put together an A-Z list of every sustainability term that you might come across. Every week, a new set of letters will be published, helping you stay well-rounded on everything related to sustainable architecture and design. Here are the terms that start with letters G, H, and I.

Saint-Gobain Announces Winners of International Student Design Competition

Competing in this year’s 15th annual Multi Comfort Student Contest, Saint-Gobain had over 2,200 students from 199 universities worldwide. The final was narrowed down to 60 competing teams from 34 countries, all of whom traveled to Milan to present their designs to an international panel of experts from the Municipality of Milan. This year’s brief was to design a project to rehabilitate and reconnect the urban area around Crescenzago subway station in Milan in line with the city’s #milano2030 development plan. The competition also focuses on Saint-Gobain’s concept of Multi Comfort: thermal, visual, and acoustic comfort, as well as good indoor air quality.

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How to Design for Visual Comfort Using Natural Light

Architects are increasingly aware of our influence on the well-being and good health of the users of our projects. Natural lighting –and how it should be complemented with artificial lighting– is an essential factor to consider for the visual comfort of interior spaces. But, do we know how to handle it correctly?

How to Design for Optimal Thermal Comfort (And Why it Matters)

Have you ever found yourself losing a good night’s sleep due to an overly warm room? Or wearing four jackets and a scarf just to tolerate your office’s frigid air conditioning? Truth be told, you can’t please everyone when it comes to adjusting an indoor climate, and there is always that one unfortunate individual who ends up sacrificing their own comfort for the sake of others.

Evidently, there are no ‘universal standards’ or ‘recommended comfort ranges’ in designing building systems, since athletes training in a gym in Mexico will not feel comfortable in an interior with the same building systems of a nursing home in Denmark, for instance. Which is why, if we were to briefly define ‘thermal comfort’, it is the creation of building systems that are adapted to the local environment and functions of the space, cooperatively.

So how can we design for optimum thermal comfort?

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Broissin Arquitectos Reinterprets the Tree House in Glass

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Design House, which is held annually within the framework of Design Week Mexico, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. In this year's edition, 24 local designers and architects transformed an abandoned home, each restoring a room or outdoor area. One of these interventions, by Broissin Architects, reconstructed the outdoor patio into a micro-forest with the small, glass house placed on a centenary ash tree.

Saint-Gobain Announces Winners of the 14th Edition MultiComfort House Students Contest

Students from South Africa, Belarus, and Germany have been chosen as the winners of the 14th edition MultiComfort House Students Contest, a contest created in 2004 and organized by Saint-Gobain. Entrants were to develop a project based on the principles of the multi-comfort concept, that is, "an optimum indoor environment ensuring the right level of fresh air, thermal, visual and acoustic comfort provided in a sustainable and energy efficient manner," as explained by the organizers.

In close collaboration with the Department of Planning of the Municipality of Dubai and the Dubai Properties Group, Saint-Gobain presented the challenge of designing a cross-cultural community project in the cultural village of Dubai, on the shores of the Al Jaddaf inlet.

Considering Dubai's hot and humid climate, the students had to find a way to reconcile reducing the energy consumption of the refrigeration and ventilation systems without compromising any of the comforts of the inhabitants; while at the same time providing an optimal relationship with the environment.

How the World's Largest Building Materials Manufacturer Used Its Own Products to Create a World-Class Headquarters for Its Employees

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Saint-Gobain’s new corporate headquarters campus in Malvern, PA—the North American home to the world’s largest building materials company—is not a typical corporate campus. As the company approached its 350th anniversary, they set out to build a headquarters that would offer a dynamic showcase for its products.

The company assembled a team of designers from two firms—Bernardon and Jacobs—to transform a long-dormant site consisting of two office buildings into an integrated, world-class headquarters located in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

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