Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild Philadelphia Embark on Linchpin Green Home Renovation Project in Nicetown

  Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild Philadelphia Embark on Linchpin Green Home
  Renovation Project in Nicetown

  Sustainable rehab of two eyesore properties links adjacent revitalization
  efforts; Project begins with executives and dignitaries working alongside

Business Wire

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. -- May 14, 2013

Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, in partnership
with YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, today begin the sustainable
renovation of two eyesore properties located at 2006 and 2007 Wingohocking
Street in Philadelphia’s Nicetown neighborhood. Over the next 10 months,
approximately 120 YouthBuild Philadelphia students and the Saint-Gobain
Corporation Foundation will transform the dilapidated homes into models of
affordable and sustainable urban living. Beyond that, these two Wayne
Junction-area homes will link together adjacent economic developments and have
an enduring, positive impact on Nicetown, Germantown and the rest of North
Philadelphia. Today, the start of this linchpin project will be recognized in
a ceremonial groundbreaking, followed by a hands-on volunteer kick-off in
which business executives, local dignitaries and neighbors will work alongside
YouthBuild students.

This will be the second  project completed by YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter
School and Saint-Gobain under the three-year national partnership between the
Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation and YouthBuild USA in support of the youth
development program’s national green building and job training program. The
Green Initiative program provides former out-of-school youth the opportunity
to build energy-efficient homes in their neighborhoods 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. “Saint-Gobain
channels the strength of its innovative building materials and knowledgeable
employees to create an invaluable professional development experience for our
students,” said Simran Sidhu, Executive Director of YouthBuild Philadelphia
Charter School. “In doing so, they are securing a place for our students in
Philadelphia’s future green-collar workforce – and that is the most rewarding
byproduct of this partnership.”

Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild Philadelphia will complete the project in
collaboration with the Nicetown Community Development Corporation (NTCDC).
According to the NTCDC’s latest neighborhood development study, an investment
of $180 million is expected over the next five years, including the NTCDC’s
Nicetown Court I and II mixed-use complexes and a $40 million restoration of
the historic Wayne Junction train station. The Wingohocking Street homes,
previously vacant for 15 years and located next to Nicetown Court II and
across from the train station, fill a critical gap amid Nicetown’s
revitalization efforts.

“Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods, and if we want to become a more
sustainable city, we must renovate neighborhood-by-neighborhood and
block-by-block in a manner that is both sustainable and affordable,” said
Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “By leveraging the expertise and support of the
private sector, YouthBuild is helping Nicetown accomplish that – and proving
that one sustainable home can impact an entire neighborhood’s revitalization.”

The Saint-Gobain family of companies, led by CertainTeed, the company’s
renowned building materials division, expects to donate a range of
energy-efficient building products to the project. In addition, employees from
Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed’s Valley Forge headquarters will spend many hours
of on-site support to ensure the homes’ timely completion. CertainTeed’s
industry-leading building scientists will play an especially valuable role as
they advise the students and other project partners on the use of
energy-efficient product technology and passive strategies to build a home
that is healthier for the homeowner and the environment, while still
economical to own.

“We’ve been part of the fabric of Philadelphia since 1948, and today we embark
on our second sustainable renovation in this neighborhood under our YouthBuild
partnership,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and
CertainTeed. “This partnership stems not only from a passion for green
building, but also a passion for Philadelphians – from the students who
transform the homes today to the families who will live more efficiently in
them tomorrow and most importantly, to the future generation of Philadelphians
who will inherit a more sustainable city.”

The multi-family homes will be designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building
Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®)
certification. It will be sold to low- to moderate-income families,
prequalified by the NTCDC according to the guidelines and requirements of
Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation and Office of Housing & Community

The Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation’s partnership with YouthBuild USA also
supports green home renovation projects in three other communities, 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 three).

Editor’s Note: Detailed press kit can be provided upon request; event photos
will be available on 5/15.

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

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 $7.9
billion in 2012.

Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012 and 2013
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

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 5,700 employees and more than 60
manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. For five
consecutive years, the company has received top honors from the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency for its contributions in protecting the
environment and was most recently the recipient of the 2013 ENERGY STAR
Sustained Excellence Award. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3
billion in 2012.

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.


Saint-Gobain in North America:
Dina Silver Pokedoff, APR
610-341-7031 (office)
484-919-2103 (mobile)
Brownstein Group for Saint-Gobain in North America:
Laura Van De Pette, APR
267-238-4118 (office)
215-833-3458 (mobile)
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