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 Corp., Royersford, Pa., facilitated the LEED certification process, integrated green-building practices into the renovation project, 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,” says Tad Radzinski, president of Sustainable Solutions. “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 Inc., West Chester, Pa., 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 InsulSafe SP 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 is Flintlastic GTA CoolStar Low Slope Roofing Cap Sheet, FlintBoard ISO Roofing Insulation and Glasbase Base Sheet, which 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, which also contributes to the home’s sustainability. Offering the look and feel of real wood, WeatherBoards has a third-party validated life-cycle assessment and recycled content, as well as is NAHB Green Approved.
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 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 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.
“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 cutting-edge building products,” says 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.”
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.
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