Innovation at Saint-Gobain
Innovation is crucial to Saint-Gobain’s mission of creating great places and improving daily lives. Materials and solutions are key ingredients in the wellbeing of each of us and the future of all.
Saint-Gobain is one of the Top 100 Global Innovators and using this to grow sustainability and enhance lives is at the heart of its strategy. Having almost doubled in size in the last 20 years, developing innovative new solutions and product ranges for its markets is a skill Saint-Gobain has been developing for many years.
At Saint-Gobain we believe in getting the basics right. This means adopting a fabric-first approach to designing buildings to be energy efficient, healthy and comfortable. A significant amount of innovation has already been undertaken so that Saint-Gobain can offer solutions today to allow new buildings to be built to increasingly high environmental standards.
Customer focussed Research and Development
Research and development focuses on breakthrough innovations and continuously improving products, process and services. All activity is undertaken with an unwavering focus on fulfilling and exceeding customer needs.
“Globally Saint-Gobain spends over £350 million every year on Research and Development and employs 3,500 researchers so we understand the value that investment can bring to keep the industry moving forward.” - Mike Chaldecott, General Delegate for Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland
We invest strongly in breakthrough Research & Development (R&D) programmes that will shape the way we all live in the future. Current strategic R&D programmes include advanced lighting technologies, super-high performance insulation and responsive (active) glazing.
Our approach always starts with the needs of the people who will eventually inhabit the finished spaces.
We employ 3,700 R&D and building science specialists worldwide. These experts work closely with our user experience team to help our customers create buildings that are designed from the ground up to maximise comfort and performance – for all users, at all times.
In the UK and Ireland Saint-Gobain works with industry, start-ups, universities, schools and government to further its mission.
Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland’s General Delegate, Mike Chaldecott, is part of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC). This group works between industry and government to identify and deliver actions supporting UK construction in building greater efficiency, skills and growth. Mr Chaldecott also leads the innovative in buildings work stream.
To partner with innovative start-ups Saint-Gobain has set up an external programme called NOVA. This project allows the Group to share its mission with entrepreneurs and future professionals and encourage them to tackle well-define market issues. Since its creation NOVA has already studied 3,200 start-ups and signed more than 70 partnerships.
In response to skills shortages in the industry Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland has partnered with Business in the Community (BITC) to create business class relationships with schools. These mutually beneficial long-lasting partnerships create opportunities and raise awareness of potential careers paths within Saint-Gobain. Currently seven Saint-Gobain brands have formed a school partnership and the ambition is for every brand to be in a school partnership by 2018.
Saint-Gobain’s MultiComfort building concept is designed to deliver comfort for anyone in any type of building. On average people spend 90% of their time indoors or in vehicles, so the buildings their live, work or play in everyday have a significant impact on their comfort, health and wellbeing. MultiComfort buildings combine the highest level of thermal performance with excellent acoustics, visual comfort, superb air-quality and outstanding energy efficiency.
The innovative Saint-Gobain Frame System is also an area where original thinking has turned an established practice on its head. This is a pre-panelised structural steel frame system, ideal for medium rise, multi-occupancy residential buildings. These loadbearing external and internal wall panels can be ready enveloped in market-leading products giving a total warranted through the wall solution.