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An imposing feature in the Manchester landscape, the One Angel Square, home to the Co-op head offices, incorporates a wide range of green technologies, which make it one of the most sustainable large buildings in Europe.

Among these is the innovative double-skin Clima façade, created by Saint-Gobain Glass, which helps entire surface of the £105 million building to breathe by providing constant ventilation and heat dispersion, as well as maximising its solar gain.

The ambition for One Angel Square was to make it one of the most sustainable large buildings in Europe and to achieve a BREEAM 'Outstanding' rating. 

In addition to the complex glazing on the bulding’s unusual shape, the structure was designed to make use of natural resources, maximizing passive solar gain for heat and using natural ventilation through its double-skin facade, adiabatic cooling, rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling and waste heat recycling.


Saint-Gobain Glass provided more than 10,000sq metres of glazing for the unique building’s envelope. The outer skin is made up of 17.5mm Stadip Securit, constructed of two 8mm sheets of heat-treated Planilux float glass laminated together using a 1.52mm clear PVB for safety and security. 

The inner skin is Saint-Gobain Glass’s low-E commercial offering, Planitherm Ultra N, with a U-value of 1.1W/m2K, which provides the thermal insulating properties required for such an energy-efficient building.

 “Performance was critical in such a construction and Planitherm Ultra N has proved itself over and over again in commercial projects of all sizes over the years”, says Richard Hickson, Senior Technical Sales Manager at Saint-Gobain Glass. 

“Unlike Window Energy Rating (WER) products which depend on a high g-value, it has a lower g-value which helps to reduce overheating. This, combined with its neutrality, processability and durability makes it the product of choice in such a context”, added Hickson. 

The sustainability goal was achieved as the scheme surpassed its pan-European aims and achieved a world-record BREEAM score of 95.32%. It is also an energy-plus building, producing surplus energy and zero carbon emissions. 

The building has received numerous awards for its striking aesthetic and sustainability aims.

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We spend 90% of our time indoors so shouldn't internal air quality be a high priority?

As the UK's first MULTICOMFORT building Bartholomew Barn not only has high indoor air quality but also addresses visual, acoustic and thermal comfort.

In March 2016, the first MULTICOMFORT building in the UK was completed – creating a healthy, comfortable, multi-purpose school hall environment for pupils to learn in and staff to work in.

The brand new building was designed to replace an existing converted barn structure, which had previously been used as a multi-functional school hall but was a physically smaller space and cold during the winter months.

 Objectives and vision

Tasked with improving the school’s current hall facilities and applying MULTICOMFORT principles to create a healthy, comfortable environment for pupils to learn in and staff to work in, the architect proposed an ambitious aesthetic form for the new building.

The designs featured high-quality materials and finishes both internally and externally, and also included the specification of some non-standard products.



Highlights and challenges

The new MULTICOMFORT school hall at King’s Hawford Primary School near Worcester now provides a light and airy multi-purpose space for indoor sports, assemblies, concerts and school plays. Overlooking the school’s main sports fields, it consists of a large main hall space, changing facilities and a small kitchen/servery.

Located in a rural area on the outskirts of Worcester, the project was part-funded by Saint-Gobain as it presented an excellent opportunity to collect old and new building data to prove the MULTICOMFORT concept. Prior to work starting on the new build, building performance and staff/pupil survey data was collected from the school’s existing hall facility to establish where improvements could and would be made.


Ongoing performance monitoring

Saint-Gobain has installed monitoring equipment throughout the new school hall to collect ongoing building performance data. This data can be compared to the original MULTICOMFORT design intent to prove the concept and highlight any areas whether further improvements could be achieved.

Space temperature, humidity and CO2 sensors have been positioned throughout the main spaces, and PIR sensors provide an indication of where occupants spend their time within the building. Temperature sensor arrays positioned between the elements making up the walls, floor and roof measure the thermal performance of the external building envelope.

The data collection and monitoring phase of the project will be in place for two years.

Saint-Gobain recognises that the built environment is undergoing a revolution as the demand for buildings to perform more efficiently, reducing their impact on the planet and providing comfortable, efficient places for people to live, work and play becomes greater. As the UK's first MULTICOMFORT building Bartholomew Barn is leading the way as a shining example that future buildings can aspire to.

For other Saint-Gobain case studies visit 

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Good acoustics are an integral part of a comfortable teaching environment and the sound design Saint-Gobain has delivered has been awarded top marks by the staff and students at Portobello High School, Edinburgh.

Commissioned by the City of Edinburgh Council, the new building accommodates 1,400 pupils and has replaced the existing building on Duddington Road, home to the school for 51 years.

In addition to more traditional teaching and learning spaces, the development incorporates a 25m swimming pool, games hall, gymnasium and two all-weather sports pitches for school and wider community use.


With 22 brands operating overall in Scotland, seven of the businesses worked in close collaboration to support the school build; British Gypsum, Celotex, Frazer, International Timber, Ecophon, Jewson and Isover supplied a range of innovative products, from wall to floor solutions.

The solutions specified will provide key benefits, such as thermal efficiency and sound insulation to create a comfortable teaching environment for students, teachers and visitors.

The multi-purpose insulation board, Celotex TB4025, was used on the ground floor of Portobello High School, to overcome localised thermal bridges. By reducing thermal bridging, this product solution will ensure reliable long-term energy savings for the building.

Acoustic performance is a key consideration for school buildings, as poorly designed sound environments can have a negative impact on learning and concentration in schools, as well as hindering classroom communication.

As a result, British Gypsum’s Gyproc DuraLine plasterboard was specified to enhance sound insulation and impact resistance performance, contributing to a peaceful learning environment for pupils.

In addition, Isover supplied acoustic partition roll to the project, a high-performance glass mineral wool, that helps to reduce noise from adjacent rooms. As well as offering superb acoustic performance, the product is made from up to 86% of recycled glass, making it an environmentally friendly acoustic solution.


International Timber worked closely with the Jewson Branch in Falkirk to supply a range of timber product solutions for the stairways and corridors in the school, as well as the outside entrance. Timber cladding provides an attractive, lasting and durable finish both for internal and external environments. Fire treated Siberian larch cladding, lacquered oak timber and MDF Oak and skirting was specified, in addition to dressed timber, sawn timber and plywood sheets. Siberian Larch is a strong robust wood with moderate durability and is resistant to rot and fungal attack. The timber is pleasing to the eye with warm colours: golden brown varying to yellow and orange in heartwood. Due to its high density, Larch wood maintains high wear resistance and is non-corrosive.

As a world leader in sustainable building solutions, Saint-Gobain recognises the importance of the interrelation between multiple building elements, creating systems that enhance our daily lives, demonstrated in the specification of solutions that work together to deliver comfortable and sustainable environments. The specification Saint-Gobain has delivered at Portobello High School demonstrates just how high the bar can be set for multi-purpose school buildings.

For other Saint-Gobain case studies visit

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From very early on, man has sought means of replicating natural light, and yet in landmark buildings throughout the country, there is no substitute for the real thing.

St Pancras International Station is an iconic building, one that is known for its stunning visual quality. The solution Saint-Gobain specified for the project further enhanced the original design of the building, thanks to an abundance of natural lighting techniques

Constructed within the existing and extended Grade 1 listed Victorian building, first opened in 1876, the new St Pancras International Rail Station is one of London’s landmark buildings.

Building design and the choice of materials and equipment play a decisive role in building for visual comfort. Because natural light varies all the time, ensuring a constant quality of light involves controlling its levels by prioritising cool northern light, reducing too much incoming light by shading, or by compensating for low light levels with artificial light. Increasingly sophisticated control systems are able to manage all these variables, and help achieve a successful balance in the combined use of artificial light and natural daylight.

One of the many specific challenges faced with this project was to create a visually impressive environment that complimented the building’s original design. In addition, merging the original features of the Victorian Grade 1 listed building with products and technology from the 21st century demanded a sympathetic fusion to balance the English Heritage guidelines with the requirements of modern rail travellers.


A range of building materials were used on this iconic project to improve visual comfort. Manufactured to provide energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing options for modern buildings, 16,544 shaped panels of 6.8mm clear laminated glass were supplied to fit the iconic curved roof.

In total, 10,175m2 of individually shaped panels were fitted to the main station roof, also known as the ‘Barlow Shed’. Due to the shape of the building’s roof, each panel was shaped individually during the manufacturing process to ensure perfect fit and clarity.

In addition, Glassolutions also supplied over 1,000 rectangular panels of 6.4mm glass to other areas of the building, totalling a further 1,600 mof glass.

It should be remembered that there is more to exceptional visual quality than meets the eye. It’s not just about the installation of individual products, but rather how they work together to deliver a truly sustainable and comfortable environment. This is why the glazing solution specified also featured acoustic properties to minimise noise disruption.

In addition, British Gypsum’s Gypwall CLASSIC partitions, the industry’s original lightweight non-loadbearing drywall partition system, were used to create division walls to retain units, business lounge and ticket areas, to maximise acoustic efficiency.

At ground level, Saint-Gobain PAM also provided solutions to ensure superior strength and longevity needed for the station’s soil, vent and rainwater systems from its Timesaver and Ensign range of cast iron pipe products and fittings.

The Timesaver system is a trusted and durable solution, and was awarded the highly coveted BSI Kitemark in 1982. In addition, Ensign meets the requirements of ISO 6594 offering individual cast iron drainage systems for above and below ground applications, and is the only system tested and kitemark approved to the product standard BS EN 877 in the UK.

2,500 tonnes of ductile iron segmental tunnel linings were supplied, comprising more than 700 complete rings and opening sets.

As a world leader in sustainable building solutions, Saint-Gobain recognises the importance of the interrelation between multiple building elements, creating systems that enhance our daily lives, demonstrated in the specification of solutions that work together to deliver comfortable and sustainable environments.

For other Saint-Gobain case studies visit

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Delivering a building whose performance is worthy of Olympians is no mean feat, but the solutions specified by Saint-Gobain at The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome equals that of the elite athletes both on and off the track.

Part of the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome dubbed the home of Scottish cycling was the first velodrome in Scotland. Constructed by world-renowned designer, Ralph Schuermann, the now iconic facility has capacity for 2000 spectators and has received numerous accolades, including being shortlisted for the 2013 Building Awards.

Brands from across the Saint-Gobain business, including Ecophon, British Gypsum and Saint-Gobain PAM as well as distribution brands, such as Frazer, Graham Plumbers’ Merchant and George Boyd, came together to help shape a high performance building, which adds to the atmosphere of the showcase sporting venue.

The pinnacle arena of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and a beacon for the regeneration of Glasgow’s East End, in addition to being a great sporting spectacle, the velodrome came to represent true sustainable development, a factor all Saint-Gobain brands took into consideration*.  

undefinedThe desire to create a sustainable building, which was not only environmentally sound in it’s construction and continued use but also one that provided a lasting legacy for the local community and economy, has resulted in a specification where sustainability speaks for itself.

To meet this, solutions from Saint-Gobain’s leading manufacturers were combined to achieve high performance standards. This included acoustic systems from Ecophon – Gedina E, Akusto Wall Super G and Hygeine Performance; Ensign Soil from Saint-Gobain PAM, which helped meet with long term sustainable goals through the use of cast-iron pipes; and Thistle Plasters Hardwall and Multi-finish, as well as Gyproc partitions, ceilings and wall linings, plus Soundbloc and Duraline boards from British Gypsum all of which contributed toward thermal and acoustic performance.

In particular, Gyproc Duraline plasterboard from British Gypsum provided multiple benefits, including fire, sound, thermal, moisture and impact resistance to create an internal environment that offers comfort and safety for occupants. Duraline also holds a thermal conductivity rating of 0.25 W/mK, and adheres to EN 520:2004 + A1:2009, ensuring quality and performance, like all Saint-Gobain products and systems.

As a world leader in sustainable building solutions and high-performance materials, Saint-Gobain products and systems have been used to enhance performance at The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, equaling that of the elite athletes using the building.  

*McAlpine, The Emirates Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Glasgow: A social and economic evaluation.

For other Saint-Gobain case studies visit 

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The acoustic properties of a building are even more critical when you’re housing an iconic institution, synonymous with delivering words and music to listeners across the World.

The solution Saint-Gobain specified for Manchester’s Media City, has succeeded in creating a state-of-the-art media centre, with acoustic, thermal and sustainability credentials, which meet the BBC’s high performance standards. 

Overlooking The Lowry and Imperial War Museum on
the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, the BBC’s landmark Media City is Europe’s biggest dedicated media centre and has become the new home for the BBC in the North.  Brands across the Saint-Gobain business worked together to supply a holistic approach to building design for the facility, which houses TV and radio stations, as well as a mix of commercial and residential areas.

In order to make the building iconic on the inside and out, Saint-Gobain needed to consider how different solutions would work together to create a thermally efficient and sustainable environment above and beyond Building Regulations. Most importantly the building also had to deliver acoustic performance that could speak for itself and continue to provide acoustic comfort for occupiers even as technology evolves. 

undefinedCreating a building with advanced acoustic properties isn’t just about the products you install, it’s also about the interrelation between individual building aspects and how they work together to deliver an environment that is more than fit for purpose - one that allows users true comfort and the ability to excel in their work.

The solution installed by Saint-Gobain at Media City provides exceptional audio comfort through acoustic sound insulation exceeding noise regulation levels by +3dB, as well as acoustic absorption, and systems that provide speech clarity and intelligibility, negating issues with harmonious resonance ensuring noise does not travel through the building.

A range of building materials were used on this iconic project to improve audio comfort, including GypLyner IWL system, GypWall classic and quiet partition system and Gyroc SoundBloc and DuraLine all from British Gypsum. In addition, absorbing materials with low acoustic transmission were also specified, including Isover’s Acoustic Partition Roll and Focus Dg, Solo, Focus Ds and Texona wall panels from Ecophon.

The specification was completed with the Ensign above ground drainage system from Saint-Gobain PAM. The only drainage system tested to a kitemark approved BS EN 877, Ensign supplied Media City with a fit-and-forget system, which outperforms all rival materials. The durable properties and longevity associated with cast-iron helps to meet the BBC’s robust sustainability targets.

Saint-Gobain recognises that the built environment is undergoing a revolution as the demand for buildings to perform more efficiently, reducing their impact on the planet and providing comfortable, efficient places for people to live, work and play becomes greater. Media City is a great example of a building at the forefront of this revolution.

This specification has resulted not only in the creation of a landmark now integral to the Manchester skyline but also a building whose acoustic performance matches its famous residents.

For other Saint-Gobain case studies visit 

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Solutions selector: Key considerations

Visual Comfort
Acoustic Comfort
Indoor Air Comfort


Multi Comfort buildings by Saint-Gobain have temperatures of relative stability, not too hot or too cold, so we can be comfortable whatever we’re doing

Thermal Comfort – Solutions

  • Glazing to let sun in or block it out
  • Insulation to reduce heat loss or summer heat gains
  • Plasters and plasterboards improve Thermal Comfort
  • Membranes to improve airtightness
  • Renders to insulate and provide weather defence



Multi Comfort buildings by Saint-Gobain have the right type and right amount of light, not too much glare or too little, to see effectively for all our different tasks, from working with screens to bedtime reading

Visual Comfort – Solutions

  • Transparent products, such as glass, films or architectural membranes, which allow access to daylight and views through windows, doors and partitions
  • Translucent products that allow daylight whilst preserving privacy
  • Opaque interior products, such as wall coverings, ceiling or flooring products, which can contribute to the distribution of daylight and to the aesthetics of spaces



Multi Comfort by Saint-Gobain buildings protect us from unwanted noise from outside and neighbouring buildings and from those sounds inside other parts of our own buildings. They are also balanced acoustically so that the sounds we want and need to hear are crystal clear

Acoustic Comfort – Solutions

  • Solutions that provide ideal room acoustics for any living, learning or working environment
  • Plasterboard linings to reduce airborne noise
  • Insulation solutions to reduce impact noise above and below
  • Absorbing acoustic panels to control room noise
  • Sound insulating glazing



In Multi Comfort by Saint-Gobain buildings, indoor air is always fresh and clean, with reduced humidity and unwanted odours

Indoor Air Comfort – Solutions

  • Insulation, drylining, membranes and high performance windows and doors providing superior airtightness
  • Low emission solutions to improve indoor air quality
  • Products to purify indoor air by scavenging certain VOC’s such as formaldehyde
  • Low-dust screeds and adhesives improving user-comfort during installation


  • More

    Great Places by Saint-Gobain

    New-build housing and multi-occupancy building solutions that provide comfort and wellbeing for everyone

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    Bartholomew Barn

    Multi Comfort school design promotes better health, comfort and wellbeing

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    The UK Home, Health and Wellbeing Report

    Developed from a survey of over 3,000 homeowners and renters, the report outlines what’s important to people with their current homes, how they’d improve them and what they’d change

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    Research & Evidence

    Discover third party independent research as well as Saint-Gobain commissioned studies looking at comfort, health and wellbeing

Sustainable buildings that speak for themselves.

Find your fit with the Saint-Gobain solutions selector.

Simply answer a few questions to see what specialist solutions and products will suit your requirements.

Q1. Which of the following Comfort solutions are important to your specification?


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