We spend roughly 90% of our time indoors or in vehicles, so it’s fair to say that the buildings we live, work and play in everyday can have a significant impact on our comfort, health and wellbeing. Stacey Temprell, Residential Sector Director at Saint-Gobain, discusses how Saint-Gobain is improving people’s health and wellbeing through building practice.
Buildings should provide us with a comfortable, healthy habitat in which to be successful, efficient and safe as we set about our daily routines. Imagine a building that’s not just good for the environment, but good for you. Imagine a building that combines the highest level of thermal performance with excellent acoustics, visual comfort, superb indoor air quality and outstanding energy efficiency.
At Ecobuild this year, Saint-Gobain exclusively launched My Comfort – the Multi-Comfort building concept from Saint-Gobain – designed to deliver comfort for everyone in any type of building, whether it a school, hospital, office or home. My Comfort offers reduced energy usage and lower ongoing operational and maintenance costs, meaning you can actually save money while enjoying all the additional long-term benefits of a future-proofed, sustainable building that gives you improved comfort, health and wellbeing.
Ecobuild was an ideal opportunity to introduce the concept to those interested and passionate about the built environment. Known for attracting some of the most well regarded industry experts to the show, visitors ranged from self-builders and architects to housing developers and contractors. Starting with a VIP reception on the first day of the show held on stand for key industry figures, it was also a great place to receive feedback from industry peers on our methods and answer questions from the public.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and recent research has shown that comfort levels in buildings can greatly increase health and productivity. For example, research found that improved ventilation could boost productivity by up to 11%*.
The relationship between people’s wellbeing and their indoor environments are complex. As a result, controlling and improving indoor environmental factors has largely been dealt with in an individual way, taking factors one at a time and making recommendations for the improvement of each.
Taking a holistic approach to the importance of comfort, health and wellbeing in buildings is the way forward. By carefully considering all the different areas of comfort that a building can (and indeed should) provide, we are able to improve people’s wellbeing within buildings – regardless of the types of buildings and the specific activities taking place inside them.
Through years of research and development, Saint-Gobain has identified five key factors that contribute to our comfort levels indoors: visual comfort (view, light quality, luminosity, glare etc.), indoor air comfort (fresh air supply, pollutants, odours etc.), audio comfort (outdoor noise, vibrations, etc.), thermal comfort (air temperature, humidity, draughts etc.) and economic comfort (the affordability of constructing, running and maintaining the building).
Ecobuild was also an opportunity to bring my comforts to life, with the stand comprising of two experience pods – demonstrating the adaptability of the concept for residential and non-residential buildings. A dedicated Multi-Comfort website was launched, along with a detailed brochure on how the standard can be achieved using the breadth and depth of Saint-Gobain’s product portfolio.
As we celebrate our milestone 350th anniversary this year, we are also looking at 350 reasons to believe in the future. The launch of My Comfort supports our belief that sustainable habitat is within our reach. By providing sustainable products and solutions, this vision can be made a reality.
Read more about My Comfort here: www.multicomfort.co.uk
To find out more about Saint-Gobain, visit www.saint-gobain.co.uk, or follow @SaintGobainUK
* Loftness V. Hartkopf V. and Gurtekin B. (2003) ‘Linking Energy to Health and Productivity in the Built Environment: Evaluating the Cost-Benefits of High Performance Building and Community Design for Sustainability, Health and Productivity,’ – USGBC Green Build Conference, 2003.