August 02, 2012 | Valley Forge, PA USA

Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild Philadelphia Announce Completion of Non-Profits' First LEED® Platinum Home Renovation

Sustainable rehab in Germantown is first to be finished under Company's three-year national partnership with YouthBuild USA.

Saint-Gobain, the world's largest building materials company, in partnership with YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, announces the completed renovation of 4620 Greene Street, the first gut-rehab home in Germantown, Philadelphia, set to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certification. YouthBuild Philadelphia students and the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation transformed the once-dilapidated property into a model of affordable, sustainable urban living in less than 18 months, and today distinguished guests will recognize the students' accomplishment in a ceremonial ribbon-cutting. 

The YouthBuild Philadelphia project is the first to be finished under the three-year national partnership between the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation and YouthBuild USA in support of the non-profit's national green building and job training program. The program provides out-of-school young adults with the opportunity to build energy-efficient and healthy homes in their neighborhoods and gain green job skills while earning their GEDs or high school diplomas. 

The partnership with the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation is a first of its kind for the Philadelphia chapter and YouthBuild USA nationally. "Never before have we had the advantage to partner with an organization that not only shared our passion for green building and our students' professional development, but also donated a breadth of energy-efficient building products and technical expertise from their most knowledgeable building scientists," said Simran Sidhu, Executive Director of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. "In the spirit of true partnership, Saint-Gobain made it possible for our students to earn the most prestigious level of sustainable building certification – an invaluable learning experience for our students." 

The Saint-Gobain family of companies, led by CertainTeed, the company's renowned building materials division, provided nearly $25,000 in energy-efficient building products to the project. In addition, employees from Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed's Valley Forge headquarters spent nearly 500 hours of time to ensure the home's 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.

John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed, said, "We've been part of the fabric of Philadelphia since 1948, and today it's more important than ever that we channel the strength of our employees and the innovative building products they've created to help Philadelphians live sustainably while also securing our city's future green workforce. In YouthBuild we have found a partner that made both aspirations possible." 

Beyond providing green job skills, this partnership begins to fill the need for affordable and energy-efficient housing in Philadelphia. Mayor Michael A. Nutter said, "The home at 4620 Greene Street is a model of how we can leverage the collective talents and expertise of the private sector to help renovate homes that are energy efficient and affordable."

Products selected to help YouthBuild Philly achieve its energy efficiency, sustainability and affordability goals include: 

  • A Hybrid Insulation System consisting of CertaSpray® Closed Cell Foam and OPTIMA® Blow-in Insulation System from CertainTeed: 
    • Foam insulation provides an effective seal on the backside of the home's sheathing, while the fiberglass insulation fills 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
  • Saint-Gobain's Grenite® Engineered Stone Countertops:
    • Has the highest post-consumer recycled content currently available in the market – up to 85 percent
  • Flintlastic® GTA CoolStar™ Low Slope Roofing Cap Sheet and FlintBoard™ ISO Roofing Insulation from CertainTeed: 
    • Delivers cool roof energy-saving reflective roof surface technology 

Additional products used inside the Greene Street home to enhance the indoor environmental quality (IEQ), include:

  • Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound:
    • Environmentally-responsible damping material that, when used in conjunction with the Noiseproofing Sealant, dissipates up to 90% of noise and vibrations 
  • ProRoc® Moisture & Mold Resistant Gypsum Board with M2Tech from CertainTeed:
    • Specially engineered to provide enhanced protection against mold growth while also contributing to the home's thermal and acoustical comfort 

While the environment inside the home is essential, the project team also wanted to ensure the house was attractive. To help in this effort, the team turned to solutions from CertainTeed that are both sustainable and aesthetic, including:

  • WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement Siding, Octagons and Cedar No Groove Vertical Panel
    • Look and feel more like real wood than any other fiber cement siding on the market and the enhanced formula is both environmentally friendly and durable
  • CertaWrap™ Weather Resistant Barrier
    • Adds a layer of protection against air and moisture damage 

Other products from CertainTeed that contributed to the home's aesthetics include:

  • Brookhaven Vinyl Fencing and Edgewood Vinyl Railing 
  • Landmark Solaris™ Shingles in Dusky Clay

The Greene Street property is a multi-family home that will now be sold to a family of low or moderate income that has fulfilled eligibility requirements of Philadelphia Neighborhood Housing Services and Philadelphia Housing Authority. The new homeowner will have the option of renting the second portion of the home. 

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: Akron, Ohio; Worcester, Mass.; and Schenectady, N.Y. Each of the four YouthBuild programs that are part of the partnership with Saint-Gobain, including Philadelphia, will receive a total of $100,000 in pass-through grants over three years (partnership is currently in year two of three).

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

Editor's Note: Product images and fact sheet can be provided upon request; event photos will be available on 8/3. 

About the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation

The Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation is committed to putting the power of its people and its products into the communities in which its employees live and work. The Foundation believes Saint-Gobain can do well by doing good – and supporting non-profits that share a commitment to community development, energy conservation and environmental stewardship is central to that belief. Programs such as YouthBuild that engage youth and communities in green building and renovation align closely with Saint-Gobain's mission to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, cost-efficient and durable buildings. Through the Foundation's support, Saint-Gobain is helping educate future generations about sustainable building and environmental preservation through its own example.

About Saint-Gobain in North America 

Saint-Gobain, the world's largest building materials company, has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 265 locations in North America and approximately 19,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $7.7 billion in 2011.

Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011 and 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

About CertainTeed

Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 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, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.

A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world's largest building products company, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The group had total sales of approximately $3.2 billion in 2011.

About YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School 

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School provides out-of-school youth 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


Dina Pokedoff
External Communications Manager