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Comcast Center, United States' Tallest Green Office Building Uses CertainTeed Ceiling and Insulation Products

Towering over the Philadelphia skyline at an amazing 58 stories (975 feet), the city's new Comcast Center is a high-performance sustainable building, with an abundance of features that will conserve energy and reduce impact on the environment.

Designed to receive LEED(R) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Comcast Center uses 40 percent less water than the average office building, and the building's water fixtures will save more than 3 million gallons of drinking water each year. The building also features a glass curtain, blocking 60 percent of heat, while allowing 70 percent of the sun's visible light through. This reduces the need for electric day-lighting and extra energy for air conditioning.

A large part of sustainable design is paying close attention to every component in the building envelope and deciding which building product will provide the most sustainable results in that area. Offering optimum sustainability, seven CertainTeed products are featured throughout Comcast Center: CertainTeed(TM) Ecophon Focus(TM) D and Ecophon Focus(TM) DG ceiling panels; Trelisio(TM), Claro(R) and Ceilencio(R) ceiling products from CertainTeed's Signature by Decoustics line; CertaPro(TM) AcoustaTherm(TM) Batt Insulation; and SoftTouch(TM) Duct Wrap Insulation.

Wyatt, Inc., of Philadelphia, served as the ceilings and partitions contractor for much of the building. They installed approximately 13,000 square feet of CertainTeed Ecophon Focus D and Ecophon Focus DG ceiling panels in Comcast Corporation's executive conference room and on-site restaurants Ralph's Café and Table 31 Steakhouse Bistro. Govberg Jewelers, a high-end watch and jewelry retailer located in the Comcast Center, features a single- sourced, multi-finish ceiling application that includes the Ceilencio concealed ceiling system, Trelisio stainless steel woven wire panels and Claro acoustically transparent coating. The building serves as the headquarters for Comcast Corporation, the largest provider of cable services in the United States with 24.4 million cable customers throughout the country.

"The Ecophon ceiling panels went into the grid well, and they provide a nice, clean, monolithic look to the ceiling, especially with all the light fixtures incorporated," says Jeff Slaney, Project Superintendent for Wyatt. "The customer really liked the look of the panels. The Ecophon panels also provide easy tilt-down access when repairs are needed for the light fixtures and ductwork, so that provides another great advantage for the customer."

In addition to smooth installation and spectacular results, the use of Ecophon Focus D and DG gives the project a significant green boost. With a LEED-recycled content of 73 percent, both ceiling panels offer the highest of any ceiling panel available in North America.

Thermal efficiency and acoustics were also key drivers in the project. The batt insulation, supplied by George F. Kempf Supply Company, of Philadelphia, was installed by Wyatt and another local contractor -- Philadelphia D&M. Wyatt installed 456,000 square feet of unfaced CertaPro AcoustaTherm R11 batts, and Philadelphia D&M installed 77,000 square feet of unfaced CertaPro AcoustaTherm R11 Batts in partitions throughout the building.

Externally insulating the HVAC ductwork on all 57 floors of Comcast Center, SoftTouch Duct Wrap also has a strong presence throughout the skyscraper. Supplied by General Insulation Company, of Camden, N.J., 60,000 square feet of the duct wrap was installed by mechanical insulation contractor Brand Energy Services LLC, of Willingboro, N.J.

"We had a good experience with the SoftTouch Duct Wrap," says Eve Carp, Purchasing Agent for Brand Energy Services. "There was no problem handling the product, and all seemed to go well."

"CertainTeed products are an increasingly popular choice for LEED certified projects throughout the United States," says Peter Dachowski, President and CEO of CertainTeed Corporation. "We are very pleased to have our products featured so prominently in this history-making green building."

Developed by Liberty Property Trust, Comcast Center was designed by New York architectural firm Robert A. M. Stern Architects in association with Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc., of Houston - the project's architect of record - and built by Philadelphia general contractor L.F. Driscoll. It is owned by Liberty/Commerz 1701 JFK Boulevard, L.P. a joint venture of CommerzLeasing & Immobilien AG and Liberty Property Trust. It officially opened for business in June 2008.

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