Mid-tier and high-end housing

The sub-Saharan African middle class is growing at the fastest pace in the world. For Saint-Gobain, the challenge is to meet this increasing demand while providing comfort and energy-efficient solutions.

Meeting the challenges of sustainability 

Increased energy usage is a natural consequence of economic growth and improving living standards in emerging countries. Innovative and easy ways to save electricity in homes are becoming a priority.

A regular home loses on average:

  • 35 per cent of its energy through the ceiling;
  • 25 per cent through the walls (depending on the type of construction);
  • 20 per cent through the floors;
  • 10 per cent through the windows; and
  • 10 per cent via air gaps.

The internal environment in a home can be affected by the following factors:

  • Orientation: does your home face in the correct direction? (Northeast.)
  • Shading: have you maximised the winter sun and minimised the summer sun?
  • Air gaps: are your doors, roof, and windows airtight?
  • Insulating the ceiling in a typical home costs less than 1 per cent of the total per square metre building cost. However, it will save you money for the lifespan of your home.

By adequately insulating your geyser, walls and ceiling, you can positively influence 63 per cent of your electricity consumption and reduce your bills.

For a comfortable experience at home 

We typically spend 90 per cent of our time inside. The buildings we live in have a huge potential effect on our health and overall sense of comfort.

Thermal comfort

An efficient building envelope can really enhance thermal comfort. This is because the envelope – the enclosing structure of the building – acts as a filter between the exterior and interior climates. Thermal comfort is affected by many different factors. These include air temperature, humidity, condensation, the surface temperature of surrounding walls, the intensity and type of activities being performed in a building and the clothing occupants are wearing.

Saint-Gobain offers a wide range of products and solutions for building envelopes.

The following solutions have a direct effect on thermal efficiency and comfort:

  • Drywall systems that provide enhanced thermal performance to the building envelope, which supports the thermal comfort of the occupants. The thermal conductivity of plasterboard is up to four times less than that of brickwork.
  • Solar control glass and window films that can either let sun radiation enter the building or block it out. 
  • Interior and exterior insulation materials, such as glass and mineral wools, which help to reduce heat losses or gains and unwanted internal condensation. 
  • Airtightness membranes that limit unwanted air infiltration.
  • External renders and internal plasters that help reduce the humidity transfer and condensation from the outside and improve thermal comfort.
  • Tile adhesives, primers, grouts, and cementitious finishes to prevent heat flow.
  • Warm edge spacer bars that improve thermal performance in windows.

Acoustic comfort

In our homes, protection from noises contributes to a sense of security and privacy.

Acoustic comfort is achieved by the following parameters: Airborne sound insulation, impact sound insulation, and acoustic absorption. Airborne sound insulation aims at reducing sound energy when passing from one space to an adjacent space. Impact sound insulation refers to sound energy structurally transmitted into a floor’s walking surface from sources such as footsteps, etc. Acoustic absorption deals with dampening excessive noise in a room. 

Saint-Gobain offers several product categories that have a direct impact on acoustic comfort, including:

  • Materials that provide sound insulation from external noise, such as glass in windows and facades.
  • Insulating materials that can effectively attenuate noise, such as specially designed plasterboard and wall systems, acoustic ceilings and glasswool insulation, which help to reduce airborne and impact noises inside the building.
  • Absorbing materials that reduce reverberation within a space and enhance acoustic ambience. This can be achieved through Saint-Gobain acoustic ceilings or wall panels, or a combination of the two.

Indoor air quality comfort

Good health starts with removing harmful pollutants and formaldehydes from the air, maintaining healthy ventilation rates, air temperatures, and humidity levels.

The Saint-Gobain product categories that have a direct impact on indoor air quality include:

  • Insulation, dry-lining, facade, wall or floor coverings with low emissions.
  • Plasterboards and wall coverings that help purify indoor air by scavenging certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde.
  • Waterproof coatings for external walls to prevent penetrating damp and water retention in walls, leading to mould development

Visual comfort

When choosing a home, good natural light is often cited as the second most important criterion, after location.

Saint-Gobain provides various solutions that have a direct impact on visual comfort and aesthetics. These include:

  • Glass or window films that allow access to daylight and views through windows, doors, partitions and roofs while minimising heat ingress and heat loss. 
  • Interior products, such as wall coverings, ceilings or flooring, that can contribute to the distribution of daylight and to the aesthetic of a space.

Further information: Fire, safety, security and maintenance requirements in the mid-tier and high-end housing sector.

Did you know ?

Condensation on internal walls increases the risk of mould growth, which can cause health problems.