September 07, 2016 | Philadelphia, PA United States

Delaware Valley Green Building Council Announces 2016 Groundbreaker Organizational and Program Award Winners

--Saint-Gobain, YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency will be recognized at the 2016 Groundbreaker Awards reception on September 29 in Philadelphia--

Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 7, 2016 – The Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC) announced today Saint-Gobain/CertainTeed and YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School are the recipients of  the Groundbreaker Organizational Awards and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) Project is the recipient of the Program Award. Winners of these awards will be recognized alongside three built project winners at DVGBC's 2016 Groundbreaker Awards ceremony on September 29 from 6-9:30 p.m. at Cira Green (80 South 30th Street, Philadelphia). 

“DVGBC is excited to celebrate the people, organizations, and projects in our region that exemplify our mission to improve the health, safety and sustainability of buildings,” said DVGBC Executive Director Alex Dews. “The project nominees show the impact that high performance buildings can have on all real estate sectors, and the Organizational and Program awardees demonstrate the value of sustainability as a core principle. The work of our award nominees demonstrates a balanced approach to building that is healthy, efficient and has a positive impact on our communities.”

DVGBC selected Saint-Gobain and its largest construction materials brand, CertainTeed, as one of this year’s Organizational Award winners for their demonstrated commitment to sustainability. Saint-Gobain/CertainTeed are receiving this award on the heels of the Saint-Gobain/ CertainTeed North American Headquarters opening in Malvern, Pa., which officially received LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Our headquarters is designed to maximize the comfort and health of employees through the use of a wide range of our building materials and serves as a ‘living laboratory’ where our building scientists can measure the impact our products have on a real workplace,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations. “We are humbled to see our vision come to life and to receive this award beside our long-time partner, YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, which is instrumental in preparing the next generation of green-collar workers in the region.”

YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School was selected as this year’s nonprofit Organizational Award recipient for the work it does in Philadelphia to educate young people in sustainable building practices while providing high performance affordable housing in the city of Philadelphia.

“Teaching sustainable building and creating green affordable homes aligns on many levels with our mission of helping young adults build a better future for themselves and for others,” said Don Pinkney, YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School Director of Building Trades & Business Development. “We’re honored by the recognition from DVGBC, and are also very proud of our students for the work they’re doing to improve our community.”

DVGBC's jury selected the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority (PHFA) Project for the 2016 Program Award recognition.  The PHFA Project is the result of the organization introducing language into their competitive funding application process which encourages developers to build to Passive House standards, a hyper-energy-efficient standard.  

“We asked PHFA to initiate a project that would have all affordable housing in Pennsylvania designed and constructed to a net-zero energy capable standard by 2030, using Passive House as the tool,” said Tim McDonald, President of Onion Flats and a former Associate Professor of Practice in Architecture at Temple University. “PHFA welcomed the challenge, included Passive House criteria in its scoring, and in 2015 and 2016 funded 18 multifamily projects, the largest concentration of Passive House affordable housing units in the country."

Join industry leaders and advocates to celebrate these winners as well as green building innovation in the region at Cira Green, Philadelphia’s first elevated park, largest green roof, and winner of a 2015 Groundbreaker Award. The evening will include food, cocktails, music and networking opportunities while recognizing the accomplishments of the individuals and companies working to move the sustainability industry forward in the region. Registration for the 2016 Groundbreaker Awards event is open through September 23 and tickets can be purchased online here.

For more information on the six built project finalists, see photos and descriptions online here.


About the Delaware Green Building Council
DVGBC fosters transformative impact in our communities through green building education and advocacy.  Formed in 2001, The Delaware Valley Green Building Council is an aligned chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. DVGBC is the primary point of contact for users, agencies, and companies interested in a sustainable built environment and is a leader in fostering cooperation and collaboration among organizations dedicated to environmentally responsible practices in the building industry. The objective of implementing green building practices is to improve site planning; to safeguard water and ensure its efficient use; to maximize energy efficiency, conserve materials and resources and insure indoor environmental quality. The goal is to significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on their occupants and on our environment.

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 YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School
YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School is an innovative alternative education program that blends a rigorous academic curriculum with community service and on-the-job vocational training. The school’s two-year program offers high school dropouts a second chance to earn their diplomas while developing vital job skills in the first year, and post-secondary transition services to ensure academic and career success in their second year. YouthBuild provides a caring, supportive environment where disconnected, low-income young adults – ages 18-21 – can learn valuable life and work skills and access life-changing academic and employment opportunities.  The school enrolls approximately 220 new students each year.

YouthBuild offers four different job training programs for students in Healthcare, Child Care, Business Administration/Customer Service, and Building Trades. In the Building Trades program –YouthBuild’s oldest training track – students renovate formerly abandoned homes and prepare them for sale to a low-income, first-time homebuyer while also earning an industry-recognized construction certification. Building Trades students have the option of specializing in Green Building, a track that focuses on learning about sustainable practices in construction and community development.

About the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental apartment options for senior adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state.

PHFA employs a staff of more than 260 individuals organized into three functional groups: Finance and Administration; Multifamily Housing Development; and, Homeownership Programs. PHFA maintains its headquarters in Harrisburg, with regional offices in Norristown and Pittsburgh.


Press Contacts:
Alex Dews, Executive Director, Delaware Valley Green Building Council
Office: 215-399-5791
Mobile: 215-805-6308

Shari Rosen on behalf of Saint-Gobain
Office: 267-238-4132
Mobile: 609-230-7561

Sarah Peterson, Communications & Development Associate, YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School
Office: 215-627-8671 x 46

Tim McDonald on behalf of The PHFA Project
Office: 215-783-5591