By Nick Gilbert
The first gut-rehab home in Germantown, Philadelphia was renovated by the Youth Build Philadelphia Charter School students and Saint-Gobain. They had partnered to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification.
The dilapidated property was transformed into a model home in less 18 months and it was opened with the ceremonial ribbon cutting by distinguished guests.
The YouthBuild USA and the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation had a three-year national partnership to support the job-training program and the non-profit's national green building. This building was the first to be completed under this partnership. This program helps young adults who are out of school to earn high school diplomas or GEDs while simultaneously gaining green job skills to build healthy and energy-efficient homes.
Simran Sidhu, Executive Director of Youth Build Philadelphia Charter School, stated that this partnership has helped their students in their professional development, developed and shared their passion for green buildings, provided knowledgeable building scientists technical expertise and also donated building products that are energy efficient. Sidhu also added that the students had an invaluable learning experience by earning the sustainable building certification.
CertainTeed, the renowned building materials division of The Saint-Gobain family provided $25,000 worth of building products, which were energy efficient. The CertainTeed's Valley Forge headquarters and Saint-Gobains employees helped in obtaining the LEED certification and in completing the home in time by spending 500 h of their time. The students were advised by the leading scientists of Certain Teed's to use energy-efficient product technology and other strategies while building a home that is sustainable and affordable.
The President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed, John Crowe stated that by collaborating with YouthBuild their aspirations are being fulfilled. They are channeling their employees’ strength and building products that are innovative to help Philadelphians live and build sustainable green energy efficient homes.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter stated that this home is a model to prove that the expertise of the private sector and collective talents of these students could be used to renovate homes that are more sustainable and energy efficient.
To achieve energy efficient goals some of the products used are as follows:
- CertaSpray Closed Cell Foam and OPTIMA Blow-in Insulation System from CertainTeed were used to provide foam insulation to seal the back of the homes sheathing.
- Grenite Engineered Stone Countertops from Saint-Gobain, which has post-consumer recycled content.
- Low Slope Roofing Cap Sheet called Flintlastic GTA CoolStar and Roofing Insulation, FlintBoard ISO from CertainTeed were used to cool the roof with reflective roof surface technology to save energy.
To enhance the indoor environmental quality (IEQ), some additional products were used like:
- Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound , which seals and helps to dissipate noise and vibrations by up to 90%.
- ProRoc Moisture & Mold Resistant Gypsum Board with M2Tech from CertainTeed to provide thermal and acoustical comfort and to protect against mold growth.
The team also used Certain Teeds products to give the home an aesthetic look. Products include WeatherBoards Fiber Cement Siding, Octagons and Cedar No Groove Vertical Panel to make the home durable and eco-friendly. To add a layer of protection from air and moisture CertaWrap Weather Resistant Barrier was used. Edgewood Vinyl Railing, Landmark Solaris Shingles in Dusky Clay and Brookhaven Vinyl Fencing were used to enhance the homes aesthetics.