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Events | July 2015

Housing innovation

Saint-Gobain extends its commitment to sustainable homes with the launch of Housing Innovation Challenge on World Environment Day.
Saint-Gobain marked the World Environment Day by launching its ´Housing Innovation Challenge´, in Chennai on June 4, 2015. The Challenge invites innovators and thinkers to identify problem areas that arise in housing and accordingly offer their solutions. This novel activity is part of the brand´s worldwide 350-year celebrations. Saint-Gobain believes sustain¡able housing and housing for Smart Cities is the route to planned urban growth.

This idea comes from the fact that Indian cities are urbanising at an extremely rapid pace and as the strain on cities grows, there is an adverse impact on the environment.

Ideas lead the way
Playing its part as a global leader in sustainable habitats, Saint-Gobain has taken upon its shoulders the responsibility to look for innovative and frugal housing solutions that answer burning issues such as increasing population density and need for vertical expansion. The solutions provided are required to be not just environment friendly but also accessible across socio-economic strata.

In keeping with its unique idea, the Housing Innovation Challenge follows an exemplary dual format that brings together professionals and general public. In the professional space, architects, designers, planners and engineers are invited to submit entries on possible areas of intervention in the categories of sustainable housing and housing for Smart Cities.

The competition also urges the general public to voice its problems and contribute to the competition by enlisting any housing issues that it may have faced or are facing. The concerns raised by the public can be the basis for the entries submitted by the professionals or they can submit independent ideas.

Point of view
Speaking at the launch of the Challenge, B Santhanam, President - Flat Glass South Asia, Malaysia and Egypt, Saint-Gobain, said,´Over the last 350 years, Saint-Gobain has been impacted by a changing world and in its own way has also helped to shape that world - through constant R&D, technology and innovation and Saint-Gobain´s active presence in India has only strengthened this fact. Housing is a necessity in a developing country like India. The purpose of this Challenge is to empower the recipients to become agents of change in society and contribute to this very necessity. On Saint-Gobain´s 350th anniversary, we aim to strengthen this commitment even further by becoming the reference for sustainable habitat in India.´ The company has also founded its seventh cross-functional Research and Development Centre - Saint-Gobain Research India (SGRI) - in Chennai. The new R&D facility aims to improve and support innovations from India and collaborate at the fountainhead of Indian knowledge and creativity. SGRI serves Saint-Gobain´s existing businesses in the region in product and process development as well as transversal needs.

Saint-Gobain has established itself as the world leader in the habitat and construction market. The company designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance and building materials providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection.

About the Challenge
The Challenge is open for entries from 4th June till September 5, 2015. Participants and enthusiasts can submit their projects and views online on www.saint-gobain.co.in/housinginnovation.The best ideas and proposals will be selected by an eminent jury panel comprising Professor Krishnarao Jaisim, Architect Brinda Somaya and Architect Rahul Kadri. The jury will also lead the winning entries into the imple¡mentation phase with the help of the team at Saint-Gobain Research India (SGRI).

In each category under the professional section, the winner of the Challenge will be rewarded a sum of Rs 2, 50,000. In the general section, 10 best innovative ideas will be awarded with Rs 25,000 each. The first and second runners up under each of these categories will be rewarded with Rs 1, 50,000 and Rs 1, 00,000 respectively. These awards will be announced in October 2015 and presented during Saint-Gobain´s 350 year celebrations in November 2015, apart from the possibility of SGRI working on implementing their ideas to fruition.

The knowledge partner for the Challenge is the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) while the supporting partner is Smart Cities Council India. All details of the Housing Innovation Challenge can be found on www.saint-gobain.co.in/housinginnovation. With such a challenge thrown at the creative heads and enterprising young minds in India, the results are bound to be full of path-breaking ideas.

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