A comprehensive package of sustainable building products and building science expertise from CertainTeed helped achieve a whole-home approach to sustainability in what is set to be YouthBuild Philadelphia’s first LEED Platinum-certified housing rehabilitation. The recent rehabilitation of 4620 Greene Street used CertainTeed insulation, gypsum, roofing, siding, fence and railing products — all of which contributed to the lofty certification.
“We’re proud to partner with YouthBuild in its mission to develop the next generation of green building professionals by pairing them with CertainTeed’s building science experts and providing them with some of the industry’s most cutting-edge building products,” said Eric Nilsson, vice president of corporate marketing for CertainTeed. “By seeing how each system, from insulation and gypsum drywall to roofing to siding, worked together and contributed to the overall sustainability and comfort of the Greene Street home, these students walked away with valuable knowledge and experience that will help them pursue careers in the green building industry.”
The Philadelphia rehab project is the first to be completed under a three-year national partnership between YouthBuild USA and CertainTeed’s parent company, Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company. As part of YouthBuild USA’s “Green Initiative”, YouthBuild students are provided the opportunity to transform their lives through building green, energy-efficient, and healthy homes, by learning sustainable building skills, earning industry-recognized credentials, and developing environmentally focused leadership skills.
In addition, Sustainable Solutions Corporation (SSC) of Royersford, Pa. facilitated the LEED certification process, and provided green building training to YouthBuild students — services in which a large portion were donated.
“Our mission is to forge partnerships and offer strategic, technical counsel that ultimately reduces the environmental impact of homes and buildings,” said Tad Radzinski, president of Sustainable Solutions Corporation. “The Philadelphia YouthBuild project is a key component of our community outreach program and we are thrilled with the results.”
The multifamily home will be sold to a low- or moderate-income family that has fulfilled eligibility requirements of the Philadelphia Neighborhood Housing Services and Philadelphia Housing Authority, and that family will have the option of renting the second portion of the house.
To ensure a high level of occupant comfort and lower monthly energy bills, West Chester Insulation installed CertainTeed’s Hybrid Insulation System in the home’s exterior walls and ceilings. The wall system consists of CertaSpray Closed-Cell Spray Foam Insulation and OPTIMA Blow-In Insulation, while CertaSpray and InsulSafeSP were used to insulate the home’s ceilings. This hybrid approach delivers an air barrier and superior R-value at a significant cost savings compared to a foam-only approach.
Also contributing to significant energy savings for the future owners, Flintlastic GTA CoolStar Low Slope Roofing Cap Sheet, FlintBoard ISO Roofing Insulation and Glasbase Base Sheet were used to construct a reflective roof surface that can reduce roof temperature by as much as 90 degrees. Landmark Solaris Solar Reflective Shingles were also used on a portion of the home’s roof. As a result, the home’s occupants will have better control over their energy consumption, particularly during summer months.
To ensure optimal indoor air quality, CertainTeed’s M2Tech Gypsum Board was used in the construction of the home’s walls and ceilings. The product’s M2Tech technology combines moisture and mold resistance and is specially engineered to provide enhanced protection against mold growth on the surface and in the core. The wallboard also offers Type X fire resistance that contributes to the safety and longevity of the home.
GlasRoc Exterior Sheathing and CertaWrap Weather Resistant Barrier were used to protect the exterior of the home, which was clad with WeatherBoards fiber cement siding, a beautiful siding option that also contributes to the home’s sustainability. Offering the look and feel of real wood, WeatherBoards is also the only fiber cement siding with a third-party validated life cycle assessment and is NAHB Green Approved and third-party certified for recycled content by GreenCircle Certified, LLC.
Rounding out the home’s design, CertainTeed Selects Brookhaven Vinyl Fence provided a private backyard living space, and EverNew Edgewood Vinyl Railing added a welcoming touch to the home’s front steps. Both products provide the look of real wood with the durability of vinyl, and contribute to beautiful outdoor living spaces that complement the home.
In addition to products, CertainTeed and Saint-Gobain employees donated nearly 500 hours working with the project team to ensure the home was completed on schedule and achieved its LEED goals. CertainTeed’s industry-leading building scientists also played an especially valuable role in advising the students and other project partners on the use of energy-efficient product technologies and passive strategies for building a sustainable, affordable home.