A Warm Welcome: GreenBuild Visits Saint-Gobain

October 14— On the heels of last month’s Design Charrette, where GreenBuild students brainstormed on plans for an upcoming construction project with key partners (including Saint-Gobain), a group of students paid a visit to the Saint-Gobain Headquarters in Malvern, PA for a closer look at the facilities and to learn more about the details of Green construction. 

Lucas Hamilton, Manager of Building Science Applications and Jessica Floersch, Communications Specialist at Saint-Gobain led a guided tour of the facilities explaining details about the construction design layout covering hot Green topics such as: Net Zero buildings, Greenbuilding/retrofitting with Green elements, renewable energy, and LEED certification. Students had a chance to learn about the in-depth process and planning that it takes to construct a project as large-scale as the Saint-Gobain headquarters. Great preparation for their upcoming project in West Philadelphia later this year!

During the tour, students were briefly guided through the work-life experience at Saint-Gobain and met some employees including YouthBuild Philly Alumnus, Alonzo Williams, Class of 2015. Alonzo currently works Full-Time in the Customer Experience department of CertainTeed, and has been with the Saint-Gobain team since the summer. Alonzo even had time to meet some of the current GreenBuild students and provided them with words of encouragement about the opportunities that await them after graduating YouthBuild Philly if they stay the course. 

Alonzo Williams, YouthBuild Philly Alumnus Class of 2015

After further Q&A with Lucas and Jessica, students visited fun communal spaces of the facility, such as the on-site gym.

GreenBuild students left Saint-Gobain even more excited about upcoming projects throughout the school year. They even dropped hints to Jessica about planning a return visit in the near future. 

Special thank you to our friends at Saint-Gobain for the warm welcome!
See below for a slideshow of more photos from the tour:

A Meeting of the Minds: Green Home Design Charrette

September 24— YouthBuild Philly GreenBuild students hosted a design charrette with a few key program partners to review plans for an upcoming project that will result in a full gut rehab of a row home in West Philadelphia later this year. GreenBuild students collaborated with Saint Gobain, Friends Rehabilitation Project, Green Building United, Provision Vocational Training Center and Kieran Timberlake to come up with a plan for the construction and architectural design of the project as part of the YouthBuild USA Green Initiative. During the “meeting of the minds” each organization explained their role in the project, and brainstormed project overview and design elements.

Stan Gatland, Manager of Building Science and Comfort at Saint Gobain/CertainTeed led a Building Science Presentation that covered the reasoning behind various architectural plans, and showcased products and materials that could potentially be used on the upcoming project to ensure that it incorporates advanced features such as temperature control, a multi-comfort system, appropriate lighting and good acoustics.

Chris Cato, Green Initiative Project Manager at YouthBuild USA overviewed the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Design Process, a system aimed to ensure that the project will be built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all metrics such as: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Kit Elsworth of Kieran Timberlake shared ways to incorporate elements of Passive House, a standard that will be used for energy efficiency in the upcoming project. 

Lastly, GreenBuild students broke into small groups with representatives from each partner organization to brainstorm and provide input on the plan for construction and architectural design of the project. GreenBuild students and program partners are excited to impact the community/environment and collaborate on this project from beginning to end TOGETHER.

Stay tuned for updates on the project’s progress. 

A Wishlist Fulfilled: IBEW Local 614

September 14, 2019— Youthbuild Philly community spaces just got a bit cozier with the help of our friends at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 614! The team at IBEW Local 614 reached out across their network and hosted a furniture drive to fulfill YouthBuild Philly’s “wishlist” of items for communal spaces and provided pieces such as: end tables, dining tables, whiteboard, rug, chalkboard paint and more. 

On the day of the furniture drop off, the IBEW Local 614 team, led by the President & Business Manager as well as Business Agents from across the region, was greeted with open arms by YouthBuild Philly students who were happy to assist with the unloading and placement of furniture. Afterwards, IBEW Local 614 members led a Q&A session with students with potential interest in the utility industry. The conversation paved the way for the developing partnership to expand beyond the furniture drive by advising and supporting students on their career pathways. 

This picture left to right: Keith Coombs (Business Agent – Philly Region), Shawn Brewer (Business Agent – DelChester Region), Larry Anastasi (President / Business Manager), Joe Pino (Business Agent – BucksMont Region)

Thank you to our friends at IBEW Local 614 for contributing to the YouthBuild Philly community in more ways than one. Every piece of donated furniture will be placed within the school to facilitate spaces for community. We look forward to a growing relationship with IBEW Local 614 and to making the YouthBuild Philly space feel more like HOME. 

IBEW Local 614 with YouthBuild Philly students and staff

Stay tuned for future furniture placement updates! 

Be sure to follow IBEW Local 614 on Instagram: @ibewlocal614

All photo credits to Kenny Gleaton (@wonderland_of_snaps).