Commercial and office buildings

Saint-Gobain Africa offers a range of solutions specific to tertiary markets and consistent with international standards.


The depletion of energy resources, the rising cost of fossil fuels and climate change have raised awareness of the need to master energy consumption.

The building sector accounts for 56 per cent of energy consumption in Africa (against 40 per cent in Europe).

Residential and commercial buildings consume around 60 per cent of global electricity. This highlights the need for efficient and energy-conscious commercial and office spaces to accommodate the speed of growth, the growing number of middle-class citizens on the continent and changing consumption trends.

Building sustainability requires the building to meet the highest energy efficiency standards and to be built with the most sustainable materials.

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) provides the most comprehensive picture of a building materials’ performance in terms of its environmental footprint. An EPD is a verified document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the lifecycle environmental impact of products.

All building product families developed by Saint-Gobain Africa have undergone this lifecycle environmental assessment.

The market for non-residential buildings is the Group’s second market, making up about 17 per cent of Saint-Gobain’s sales. The Group brings targeted solutions for new construction or renovation projects, optimising energy-efficient building design while improving the wellbeing of occupants.


Whenever a new space is designed or renovated, the following factors need to be considered: airtightness and ventilation; thermal inertia; solar gain; and insulation.

Saint-Gobain Africa provides various solutions to improve thermal comfort. These include: 

  • 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 film that can either let solar radiation enter the building or block it out.
  • Interior and exterior insulation materials, such as mineral wools, that help to reduce unwanted heat losses or gains.
  • ETICS systems that provide active insulation by minimising heatflow through walls and around windows, doors and other openings while cutting energy consumption and CO² emissions from heating and cooling.
  • Vapour control membranes that prevent humidity from entering the building.
  • Renders to help reduce humidity transfer from the outside and improve thermal comfort.
  • Bituminous waterproofing roof solutions with heat reflective properties.
  • Tile adhesives, primers, grouts and cementitious finishes to prevent heat flow.
  • Warm edge spacer bars to improve the thermal performance of glazing units.


Research has shown that well-designed sound environments in offices help to improve concentration and enable better communication.
Open-plan offices have become the norm these days as the design promotes communication, collaboration and creativity. However, unwanted noise is by far the number one cause of dissatisfaction in offices.

Saint-Gobain Africa provides various solutions that contribute to acoustic comfort. These include: 

  • 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 drywall systems, acoustic ceilings and glasswool insulation, which help to reduce airborne and impact noises inside the building.
  • Absorbing materials that reduce reverberation in a space and enhance the acoustic ambience. This can be achieved through Saint-Gobain acoustic ceilings or wall panels, or a combination of the two.
  • ETICS systems that improve thermal insulation and acoustic values as an alternative to conventional building systems
  • Acoustic drainage systems that dampen the sound of drainage water and transit.
  • Duct insulation solutions that reduce noise from HVAC systems.
  • Felts for floating floors that reduce impact sound from floor traffic.


Since people spend about 90 per cent of their time indoors, the quality of that environment is vital.

In a poorly ventilated office setting, increased airborne levels of viruses and bacteria can result in higher incidences of respiratory illnesses. Exposure to formaldehydes may affect the lungs, brain and nervous system.

Saint-Gobain Africa offers solutions to meet the need for a healthier indoor environment. These include: 

  • Lightweight systems for walls, ceilings and floors, specifically tailored to prevent moisture retention in moisture-prone commercial and office spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Plasterboards and wall coverings that help purify indoor air by scavenging certain VOCs, such as formaldehyde.
  • Glass, an inert material.
  • Warm edge spacer bars to stop condensation and prevent the formation of mould and bacteria in between glazing units.
  • Duct insulation to prevent condensation and mould.
  • Tile grouting adhesives and flooring solutions with low CO₂ emissions.
  • Chemical resistant epoxy adhesive and grout for interior and exterior use where chemical resistance and impermeability is required (laboratories and ablution areas).
  • Mortar for joints resistant to mould, bacteria, algae and chemical attack.
  • Sound-absorbing ceiling systems intended for environments where there is a risk of slight contamination and where regular cleaning is required, such as kitchens, public catering areas, and laboratories.


Natural light and interior design elements play a big role overall productivity and the wellbeing of commercial and office building occupants. Since people spend most of their time inside buildings, a balance has to be found between natural and artificial light.

Saint-Gobain Africa offers a wide range of solutions to improve visual comfort in commercial and office buildings. These include: 

  • Lightweight drywalling systems with design flexibility to meet modern design trends in commercial buildings.
  • Decorative and functional acoustic panels to create visually striking installations in commercial spaces.
  • Glass or window films that allow designers to equip commercial and office buildings with superior lighting benefits and aesthetics while minimising heat ingress and heat loss. Decorative interior products, such as wall coverings, ceilings or flooring, that can contribute to the distribution of daylight and to the aesthetic of a space.
  • Surface-mounted services and pipework can accommodated within or behind Saint-Gobain Africa's light-weight wall and floor systems to maintain clean, aesthetic building lines.

Further information: Fire, safety, security and maintenance requirements in commercial and office buildings



Having a better view out of an office window is associated with better overall performance, with productivity increased by 7 to 12 per cent.