Saint-Gobain: celebration of futuristic new centre

Saint-Gobain held a ribbon-cutting and tree-planting ceremony on 30 July 2009 to mark the completed expansion of the company“s largest research and development centre in the world in Massachusetts, U…

Saint-Gobain held a ribbon-cutting and tree-planting ceremony on 30 July 2009 to mark the completed expansion of the company“s largest research and development centre in the world in Massachusetts, US. The outdoor luncheon ceremony, followed by a tour of the new 60,000-square-foot research and development centre, was attended by more than 200 people. Most of the materials used in the new building, which will use less than half the energy of a conventional building the same size, includes solar reflective roofing, acoustical ceilings, gypsum wallboards and triple-glazed windows, manufactured by Saint-Gobain or its subsidiaries. “This centre is really a good example of what we want to accomplish. It is a showcase of what (Saint-Gobain) does the best,” said CEO Pierre-Andre de Chalendar. Gov. Deval L. Patrick thanked the company for expanding in Massachusetts, saying “This is a wonderful example of the thoughtfulness and caring that must go into all sorts of our commercial and residential decisions,” adding: “as we go forward both in terms of how we save the planet and also how we advance that sector of our strong and strengthening economy here in the commonwealth and in this country.” “Our faith in the commitment of Saint-Gobain to research and development of our business managers has grown tremendously,” said Rakesh R. Kapoor, director of the Northboro facility. “Our resolve to convert these investments into a stream of innovative products is stronger than ever.” The expansion of the plant, which covers 186,000 sq.ft. in four buildings on 26 acres, and is valued at USD 15 million, added 60,000 sq.ft. of laboratory, office and meeting space for 200 engineers and scientists who had been working in trailers. It is now the largest of four R&D facilities the company has worldwide and has 330 employees from 27 countries. Researchers at the centre have generated about 400 patents, including 60 in the past year. Saint-Gobain“s facility in Worcester employs another 1,528 employees, while the group has about 210,000 employees in 59 countries.