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Home News, Contacts & Resources Latest News 2014 January ONLINE DEBATE TACKLES FABRIC FIRST APPROACH TO BUILDING



Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction markets, is hosting an online debate where expert guests will come together to consider one of the most critical issues in the industry.

The online debate will consider the motion: “Over the long-term, fabric first is the most economical approach to sustainable building”, and will draw upon the experience and views of two industry experts: Neil Smith, Head of Research and Innovation at the National House-Building Council (NHBC) will be proposing the motion and Lu Rahman, Editor at Energy & Efficiency Today, will be acting as the opposing speaker. Taking the form of an Oxford-style debate, both sides of the argument will be available for scrutiny at

The traditional style debate will kick off with opening statements from the opponents on Tuesday 21st January. The discussion will continue during the following week, and will culminate on Thursday 30th January when the victor will be announced. Visitors to the site will be encouraged to add their thoughts to the proceedings through a comments section, also having the option to cast their vote for or against the motion, based on which speaker has been most persuasive.

Richard Halderthay, Director of Communications for Saint-Gobain UK, Ireland & South Africa, said: “We are really excited to be hosting our second debate in the series and I’m looking forward to seeing how it will unfold, particularly as fabric first is a principle that we consider to be of great importance at Saint-Gobain.”

“Our debut debate got the series off to a flying start, the open forum saw our expert speakers grappling with the motion, as well as a range of visitors adding their comments and insightful scrutiny to the debate. It will be interesting to see the contributions made on our January motion.”

Moving forward, Saint-Gobain debates will occur on a regular basis, providing an up-to-date and engaging insight into some of the key issues at the heart of industry and the built environment today. The debate series will cover everything on the sustainable construction agenda, from the UK’s carbon zero performance and housing stock, to issues concerning Passivhaus and renewable energy solutions, with a view to moving onto more broad socio-economic issues in the future.

For further information, please visit For up-to-the-minute news and updates, follow Saint-Gobain UK & Ireland on Twitter, at @SaintGobainUK, or search #SGdebate. Should you need any more information, please contact

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