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Specifier Hub

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.

St PancrasA 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 m2 of 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.

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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.

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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.

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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


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    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

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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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