makes us feel good
Whether they're residential or commercial, the way that buildings perform is really important for our health and general comfort - especially since we spend so much of our time in them. Yet we rarely consider their impact on our state of mind and overall sense of wellbeing.
So what should we expect?
At Saint-Gobain, we believe that feeling good in a building is about having the perfect amount of light, the proper level of sound and the ideal temperature. It is about design and technology, beauty and safety, efficiency and sustainability.
A good living place is adaptable to us, rather than the other way around.
The origins of MULTICOMFORT
At Saint-Gobain, we've been working on optimizing comfort and wellbeing in living and working spaces for many years.
Our company was initially founded in 1665 to manufacture large mirrors to maximize daylight in the residences of the upper classes of French society – in fact, Louis XIV was our first customer and our first job was the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
Since then, Saint-Gobain has become a worldwide specialist in concepts, materials and systems for building envelopes (the physical structure of a building).
We believe that buildings have the potential not just to protect people from negative aspects of the world outside – such as noise, weather and pollutants – but also to make us feel happier and enable us to live, work and play in healthier internal environments.
Through our MULTICOMFORT programme, we've been exploring many different aspects of building design to understand how comfort works in real built environments.
To do this, we've worked with our partners to construct 23 full-scale demonstration buildings (to date). We've created buildings that are not just good for the environment, but help people to feel good too.
What's different about a
It's when we're designing new buildings or remodeling older ones that real opportunities to improve our wellbeing and comfort arise. And because most of us undertake such building work infrequently, it's essential to design for built-in comfort right from the start.
The 'Fabric First' approach
MULTICOMFORT buildings are based on what we call 'Fabric First' principles. This means making improvements to a building's envelope and services to increase energy performance and levels of comfort, and providing an efficient filter between the exterior and interior climates.
Prioritizing the envelope design – the physical structure of a building – allows us to reduce the need for energy to heat and cool the space inside, and to build in critical comfort factors for the lifetime of the building.
For renovations as well as
MULTICOMFORT principles can be applied to renovation projects as well as new-build constructions.
If you're planning any kind of renovation or redecoration to an existing property, always consider what you can do to improve comfort at the same time – for example, by adding more insulation, incorporating sound-dampening materials in partition walls or flooring, or installing windows with higher thermal and acoustic efficiency.
Comfort that's always controlled
A well-designed building envelope is paramount. This is more likely to provide consistent levels of comfort over the long term by avoiding annoying fluctuations in temperature and providing a permanent flow of fresh internal air.
It's been shown that occupants who can exercise personal control over their thermal environment (by opening a window or adjusting the heating) will feel more comfortable, whether or not they chose to exert this control.
However, building control systems and thermostats can also help to maintain comfort conditions in an energy efficient way. Their role increases in buildings with changing occupancy patterns.
Optimal energy efficiency
MULTICOMFORT buildings are special because of their energy efficiency and sustainability credentials.
The Saint-Gobain MULTICOMFORT building concept incorporates Passive House energy performance standards. It is also aligned with the requirements of the most recognized global building labels such as LEED, BREEHAM, HQE and DGNB.