Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild Akron Announce Completion of City’s First LEED® Platinum Home

  Saint-Gobain and YouthBuild Akron Announce Completion of City’s First LEED®
  Platinum Home

 Home is first in Akron under Company’s national partnership with YouthBuild

Business Wire

VALLEY FORGE, Pa. -- May 29, 2013

Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, in partnership
with Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. (YouthBuild Akron) announces the
completed renovation of 887 Garfield Street, the first home in Akron expected
to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certification. YouthBuild Akron trainees
and the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation transformed the property into a
model of affordable, sustainable urban living in 16 months, and today
distinguished guests will recognize the trainees’ accomplishment in a
ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

The Garfield Street home is the first completed project in Akron 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 at-risk youth with the
opportunity to build energy-efficient and healthy homes in their
neighborhoods, and trainees gain green job skills while earning their GEDs.
The partnership with the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation is a first of its
kind for YouthBuild Akron and YouthBuild USA nationally.

Most notably, the home will be the first home in Akron to receive LEED
Platinum certification (expected later this Spring), and will be only the
seventh home in the state of Ohio to receive the prestigious designation.
Receiving LEED Platinum certification will be a first-time distinction for
both YouthBuild Akron and the property owner Akron Metropolitan Housing
Authority (AMHA).

“Partnering with Saint-Gobain, an organization that shares our passion for
green building and our trainees’ professional development, has taken this
project from good to great,” said Malcolm Costa, President and CEO of Akron
Summit Community Action, Inc. “Rebuilding a home to LEED Platinum standards is
an ambitious goal for any builder, but in the spirit of true partnership,
Saint-Gobain made it possible for our trainees to earn the most prestigious
level of sustainable building certification – a rewarding learning experience
that will prove invaluable to our trainees as they enter Akron’s green

The Saint-Gobain family of companies, led by CertainTeed, the company’s
building materials division, provided a range of energy-efficient building
products for the project. In addition, Saint-Gobain employees from several key
business units headquartered in Akron donated many hours to educate the
trainees and support the home’s completion. CertainTeed’s industry-leading
building scientists played an especially valuable role as they advised the
trainees and other YouthBuild Akron partners on the use of energy-efficient
product technology and passive strategies to build a sustainable, affordable

John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed, said, “With
over 1,000 employees throughout the Akron-Cleveland region, it’s more
important than ever that we channel the strength of our employees and the
innovative building products they’ve created to help Akronites live
sustainably while also contributing to the city’s future green workforce.”

Beyond providing green job skills, this partnership begins to fill the need
for affordable and energy-efficient housing in Akron. Mayor Donald L.
Plusquellic said, “Building the city’s first LEED Platinum home is a
history-making accomplishment and it has set a new precedent for
energy-efficiency in Akron. By leveraging the collective talents and expertise
of the private sector in partnership with the non-profit sector, we have
proven that homes can be both efficient and affordable.”

Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. Board and staff, with assistance from
Mayor Plusquellic and the City of Akron, County Executive Russ Pry, AMHA and
other community partners and funders, have invested countless hours and over
$1 million in resources to YouthBuild Akron since its inception in 2002. “We
are pleased to provide trainees with the opportunity to use green building
techniques as they return some of this investment to the community by
renovating an energy-efficient home for a low-income, working family,” said
Robert Dowdell, Director of Youth Services, Akron Summit Community Action,
Inc. (YouthBuild Akron). “We anticipate that these skills will make trainees
more marketable as they seek employment in the skilled trades.”

In addition to its expected LEED Platinum certification, the home has secured
an additional efficiency certification from Energy Star® Water Management
System. The home was also tested in accordance with the Home Energy Rating
System (HERS) Index, a nationally recognized scoring system for measuring a
home’s energy performance. According to the Index, the Garfield Street home
received an exceptional HERS score of 65 that suggests the home is 35 percent
more energy efficient than a standard new home.

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

CertaSpray® Closed Cell Foam  from CertainTeed®

  *Foam insulation is spray-applied into open wall cavities and ceilings to
    deliver greater efficiency, moisture management, sound control, structural
    integrity and improved indoor air quality
  *As an all-in-one insulation air sealing system, CertaSpray foam insulation
    is designed to solve extreme insulation requirements – ideal for Akron’s
    cold climate
  *A high R-Value minimizes hot and cold spots in a home to improve
    efficiency and comfort
  *As a secondary moisture vapor barrier, it helps reduce the risk of
    moisture intrusion in the wall cavity

Saint-Gobain’s Grenite® Engineered Stone Countertops

  *Have the highest post-consumer recycled content currently available in the
    market – up to 85 percent
  *Manufactured locally in nearby Ravenna, Ohio

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

CertainTeed® Moisture & Mold Resistant Gypsum Board with M2Tech®

  *Specially engineered to provide enhanced protection against mold growth
    helps contribute to a healthier indoor environment

CertainTeed® Type X Gypsum Board

  *Features a specially formulated core providing fire resistance ratings
    when used in tested assemblies
  *Uniform high-strength cores eliminate crumbling and cracking
  *Edge tapers consistent to form perfect joints

Easi-Lite™ ½ inch Gypsum Board for Ceilings & Walls from CertainTeed®

  *Up to 30 percent lighter than standard gypsum boards
  *Can be used for both interior ceilings and walls
  *Lightweight design enables quicker and easier installation, reducing
    strain and fatigue
  *Designed with sag resistance and ideal for 1⁄2-inch ceiling applications,
    allowing for one board type to be used on the interior walls or ceilings

AirRenew® Gypsum Board from CertainTeed®

  *Designed to offer a healthier living and working environment by improving
    indoor air quality
  *Features industry-only technology that removes VOCs from the air and
    converts them into safe inert compounds; once they are captured in the
    board, they cannot be released back into the air
  *The board also features M2Tech® technology, which helps improve indoor air
    quality by providing enhanced moisture and mold resistance

While the environment inside the home is essential, the YouthBuild Akron 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:

CertaWrap™ Weather Resistant Barrier

  *Adds a layer of protection against air and moisture damage

Landmark Solaris™ Solar Reflective Roofing Shingles from CertainTeed®

  *Steep-slope, solar reflective asphalt roofing shingle that contains
    advanced colored granules that reflect the sun's rays and can reduce a
    roof’s temperature by as much as 20 percent in the summer
  *Combines the traditional beauty of asphalt shingles with the ecological
    benefits of cool-roof technology

Other products used throughout the building process come from Saint-Gobain’s
Norton brand and are part of its  DIY and Contractor line of abrasive

  *Norton Wall Sanding Paper in 4-3/16 x 11¼-inch size in 80, 100 and 120
  *Norton Wall Sanding Sponge, used for professional paint and drywall
  *Norton 8-inch Continuous Rim Blades, used for smooth cutting of ceramic
    tiles, marble and other hard materials

The project was completed in collaboration with YouthBuild Akron, AMHA, and
the Saint-Gobain family of companies, with building and design support from
New Leaf Home Design (architect); Learn About Green (sustainability
consultant); Crasi Co. (home builder); and Jeanne Marie Hartman, Ph. D.
(landscape architect). In March 2013, the sustainable home was leased to a
low- to moderate-income family that was pre-qualified by the AMHA in
accordance with its requirements.

The Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation’s partnership with YouthBuild USA also
supports green home renovation projects in three other communities, including:
Philadelphia; Worcester, Mass.; and Schenectady, N.Y. Each of the four
YouthBuild programs that are part of the partnership with Saint-Gobain,
including Akron, will receive a total of $100,000 in pass-through grants over
three years (partnership is currently in year three).

YouthBuild Akron has operated seven training cycles with 164 trainees enrolled
and 121 graduates. YouthBuild Akron has helped 81 young men and women earn a
GED, 77 achieve certification from the National Center for Construction
Education and Research, 65 obtain employment and 33 enter post-secondary

Editor’s Note: Detailed press kit can be provided upon request; event photos
will be available on 5/30.

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.

Akron Summit Community Action, Inc.

Akron Summit Community Action, Inc. (ASCA) is a private, non-profit, tax
exempt corporation established in 1966. With a mission “to reduce poverty and
promote self-sufficiency,” the agency has engaged in operating community-based
programs for low-income individuals and families for almost 50 years. The
agency is governed by an 18 member, tripartite board of trustees drawn from
the public sector, the private sector, and the poor. ASCA was designated as
the lead anti-poverty agency by Akron City Council and Summit County
Commissioners in 1965. ASCA assists individuals and families move out of
poverty, by providing education (including financial literacy and life skill
building), training, support and resources. ASCA serves a broad demographic
including children, youth, adults, and seniors. Current programs include
YouthBuild, Head Start/Early Head Start, Akron Summit Earned Income Tax Credit
Program, Home Energy Assistance Program, Foster Grandparent Program, and
Circles in addition to community outreach and emergency services.


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)
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.