MRO Magazine

Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild Philadelphia Announce Completion of Two LEED Platinum Home Renovations

June 29, 2016
By Business Wire News


Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, in partnership with YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School announces the completed renovation of two side-by-side homes located at 2006 and 2008 W. Wingohocking St. in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia and that the homes are set to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certification. Over three years, approximately 180 YouthBuild Philadelphia students and the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation transformed the once-dilapidated properties into models of affordable, sustainable urban living. Today distinguished guests, including Michael DiBerardinis, Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia, will recognize the students’ accomplishments during a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

The YouthBuild Philadelphia projects mark the fourth and fifth green home renovations to be completed under the national partnership between Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild USA in support of the nonprofit’s national green-building and job-training program. The program provides former out-of-school young adults with the opportunity to build sustainable, energy-efficient and healthy homes in their neighborhoods and gain green job skills and industry-recognized credentials while earning their high school diplomas or its equivalent.

“YouthBuild USA’s partnership with Saint-Gobain means students in Philadelphia get the opportunity to experience the LEED building and design process,” said Simran Sidhu, Executive Director of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. “They walk away from this invaluable experience with the tools they need to build a brighter future for themselves and the community.”

The Saint-Gobain family of companies, led by CertainTeed Corporation, the company’s largest building materials subsidiary, provided approximately $42,000 in building products to achieve the projects’ energy efficiency, sustainability and affordability goals. In addition, employees from Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed’s North American Headquarters, located in Malvern, Pa., spent nearly 975 hours ensuring the homes’ timely completion and LEED certification. CertainTeed’s industry-leading building scientists played an especially valuable role as they advised the students and other project partners on the use of energy-efficient product technology and passive strategies to build a sustainable, affordable home.

“Nearly six years ago, we partnered with YouthBuild because we saw a means to give back by helping communities renovate energy-efficient, comfortable, healthy, economical and durable homes,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations. “We knew the partnership was about knowledge transfer but never expected the knowledge transfer would go both ways. The students have taught us invaluable lessons about hard work and tenacity and have fundamentally altered our company for the better.”

Along with providing green job skills, training and education, this partnership helps to fill the need for affordable and energy-efficient housing in Philadelphia. “This renovation serves as an example of what the Philadelphia community can accomplish when it works together. We’re proud of the fact that Philadelphia is one of the four cities in North America where the Saint-Gobain-YouthBuild partnership is providing access to affordable, healthy, sustainable homes and opportunities for young people to learn skills that will allow them to obtain jobs with livable wages,” said Mayor of Philadelphia Jim Kenney.

The Nicetown Community Development Corporation will sell the properties to families of low-to moderate-income who are first-time home buyers in accordance with guidelines and requirements of the Office of Housing & Community Development and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.

Products selected to help YouthBuild Philadelphia achieve its energy-efficiency, sustainability, indoor environmental quality, and affordability goals include:

  • A Hybrid Insulation System consisting of CertaSpray® Closed Cell Foam and OPTIMA® Blow-in Insulation System and MemBrain™ Continuous Air Barrier & Smart Vapor Retarder from CertainTeed that:
    • Creates a foam insulation that provides an effective seal on the backside of the home’s sheathing, while the fiberglass insulation fills in the remainder of the cavity.
    • Delivers an R-value that is almost equivalent to a passive house at a significant cost savings compared to a foam-only approach.
    • Improves sound control and reduces energy consumption and moisture penetration for a healthy, comfortable home.
  • A variety of drywall solutions from CertainTeed:
    • AirRenew® Indoor Air Quality Drywall actively removes formaldehyde from the air, protecting homeowners from harmful VOCs. It’s the only drywall that improves air quality by capturing and converting formaldehyde into a safe, inert compound.
    • Silent FX® Noise-Reducing Gypsum Board is specifically designed for systems requiring high STC ratings where acoustic management is needed.
    • Diamondback® GlasRoc® Tile Backer is a moisture- and mold-resistant, paperless glass-mat gypsum tile backer ideal for moisture-prone areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. It’s up to 40 percent lighter than cement backerboard and is GREENGUARD Gold Certified.
    • AquaBead® Corner Reinforcement is a high-performance corner bead made of a high-strength polymer core that is forgiving to the flaws and variations of edge cuts and surpasses the impact resistance of most metal beads that easily dent and have to be pulled back off.

The Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation’s partnership with YouthBuild USA also supports green home renovation projects in three other communities where Saint-Gobain has business concentrations, including: Canton, Ohio; Worcester, Mass.; and Schenectady, N.Y. In June 2015, to coincide with Saint-Gobain’s 350th anniversary, the company announced an extension of its national partnership with YouthBuild USA bringing its total financial commitment to $1.3 million over the course of seven years (2010-17).

For more information about Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation’s partnership with YouthBuild USA, please visit

Editor’s Note: Product images and a fact sheet can be provided upon request; Event photos will be available on June 30.

About Saint-Gobain in North America

Saint-Gobain, the world leader in sustainable environments, has designed and manufactured high-performance building materials that improve the lives of people all over the world. From the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles and the glass pyramid at the Louvre, to the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center, and even components that allow the Mars Rover Curiosity to seek out life on another planet, Saint-Gobain has been a part of the fabric of human history, advancement and improvement.

In North America, the company upholds this rich history of innovation by making a material difference in the spaces where people work, live, play, heal and learn. Along with its North American headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, Saint-Gobain has more than 150 locations in North America and approximately 14,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $5.7 billion in 2015. Experience our innovation, wonders and advancements by visiting and connect with Saint-Gobain North America on Facebook and Twitter.

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has helped shape the building products industry for more than 110 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm’s slogan “Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed,” quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fencing, decking, railing, trim, insulation, gypsum and ceilings.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest and oldest building products companies, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 5,700 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2015.

About YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School provides out-of-school youths in Philadelphia with the broadest range of tools, supports and opportunities available to become self-sufficient, responsible and productive citizens. YouthBuild Philadelphia is an innovative alternative education program that blends a rigorous academic curriculum with on-the-job training through community service. Students at YouthBuild Philadelphia earn their high school diplomas and make successful transitions to full-time jobs and post-secondary educational programs. For more information, visit

About YouthBuild USA

YouthBuild USA leads an international network of 360 local YouthBuild programs in the USA and 21 countries that help youth transform their own lives while transforming their communities. YouthBuild programs address critical issues facing low-income communities – housing, education, employment, crime prevention and leadership development.

In the United States,local YouthBuild programs are sponsored by local community- and faith-based organizations, government agencies, and community colleges. In other countries, YouthBuild programs are sponsored by NGOs, government agencies, international development institutions, and global companies.

Saint-Gobain North America:
Dina Silver Pokedoff, APR
610-341-7031 (office)
484-919-2103 (mobile)
Brownstein Group for Saint-Gobain North America:
Nicole Gainer
267-238-4147 (office)
856-266-1707 (mobile)