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DJK Custom Homes of Illinois Partners with CertainTeed Gypsum to Improve Indoor Air Quality of Net Zero, LEED® Platinum Home


Aesthetically-appealing Eco-Smart Home™ showcases sustainable, healthy and efficient living

(Valley Forge, Pa.) – CertainTeed® AirRenew® drywall is playing an important role in optimizing the indoor air quality (IAQ) of the first of its kind, net zero, Eco-Smart™ home in Naperville, Illinois. Already committed to constructing award-winning homes with impressive energy efficient features, suburban Chicago builder DJK Custom Homes saw the formaldehyde-absorbing drywall as the best way to offer improved indoor air quality in their most sustainable home built to date.

The 3,280 square-foot, four bedroom, four and a half bathroom home was constructed on a nature preserve-like, two-acre site as a model for environmentally-friendly building, with core focuses on IAQ and energy, water and resource efficiency. When specifying materials for the interior, DJK Homes found that CertainTeed offered a high-performance drywall that would exceed their IAQ goals. The unique ability of AirRenew to capture formaldehyde from indoor air, and convert the chemicals into inert compounds that remain permanently trapped safely within the board, was especially sought after.

“AirRenew drywall helps to get rid of a particularly dangerous VOC (volatile organic compound) in the air — ultimately giving us piece of mind,” said Kevin Kittilsen, vice president of DJK Custom Homes. “I think that the most notable result was the fact that there was not that ‘new home’ smell.”

Formaldehyde can be introduced by the off gassing of new furniture and household cleaners and is often the highest concentration VOC in indoor air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to formaldehyde can result in respiratory symptoms, and eye, nose and throat irritation.

“AirRenew is an important component when adopting strict air tightness and insulation requirements, as zero energy homes have as little as 1/10th the amount of accidental fresh air than previously built, drafty homes,” said Lucas Hamilton, manager of CertainTeed Building Science Applications. “With greatly reduced quantities of outside air available to dilute the concentration, removal of indoor air contaminants through high performance materials and controlled ventilation with mechanical systems is critical.”

Other sustainable features in and around the home include: solar panels, tankless water heater, direct-vent fireplaces, low-flow water fixtures, triple-glazed windows, ENERGY STAR® appliances, heat pump and gas furnace; zero-VOC paints, window and door foam, LED lighting, permeable paving, native plants and trees and much more. It boasts numerous sustainable honors, including Energy Star 3.0, NAHB Green Emerald, EPA Indoor Air Plus and LEED Platinum certifications, with landscaping designed as a bird and butterfly habitat certified by the National Wildlife Federation. The EcoSmart Home was completed last year and was open to the public for tours to increase awareness of contemporary green homebuilding techniques.

DJK Homes will be using AirRenew as the standard drywall in all of their newly built homes, and will also be starting construction soon on their second Eco-Smart Home in Illinois. For more information, go to

AirRenew IAQ Gypsum Board products offer a cost-effective solution for healthier interior environments in residential construction and remodeling projects. AirRenew products are GREENGUARD® Gold certified and can contribute to indoor environmental quality, recycled materials, and innovation in design credits for green projects. The products contain up to 99 percent total recycled content and may provide regional materials, depending on project location. And, most importantly, they handle the same as regular gypsum boards and do not require special tools to install or finish. The entire portfolio of AirRenew products has received Environmental Claims Validation (ECV) from UL Environment for permanent formaldehyde absorption.

Offering a broad range of gypsum and finishing products for interior and exterior needs, CertainTeed Gypsum has served the North American building industry for more than 80 years and is a subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, the world’s leading producer of gypsum products. This, in combination with the full range of affiliated CertainTeed Corporation building products, provides architects, contractors, builders and dealers one partner to provide service and support for commercial and residential building projects.

About DJK Custom Homes
DJK Custom Homes is the premier ENERGY STAR custom homebuilder and remodeler for Naperville, Plainfield, and surrounding Chicago area communities. Since 1988, DJK has earned a reputation for attention to even the finest of details, and strives to stay ahead of current building practices by building smart, high performance homes that minimize the cost of living while providing the best quality living environment. DJK also offers custom homes build to meet USGBC LEED certification and NAHB Green Certification as well as the Indoor Air Plus label. For more information, visit

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, insulation, gypsum and ceilings.

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 seven 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 2015 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2014.