USGBC School “Greenovation” Project Chooses CertainTeed® AirRenew® IAQ Board for VOC Reduction
(Tampa, Fla.) – In its efforts to achieve indoor air quality (IAQ) in an ongoing classroom “greenovation” experiment, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Orange County, Calif., chapter is making good use of CertainTeed’s AirRenew® IAQ Gypsum Board and its ability to remove volatile organic compounds (VOC) from interior air. The experiment— a project of the USGBC’s Adopt a School program—seeks to determine the impact a school-wide green remodel might have on utility bills and student performance at Davis Magnet School, a 1950s-era elementary school in Costa Mesa, Calif.
With design work from sustainable architecture and design firm LPA, Inc., of Irvine, Calif., the project began with the renovation of one classroom last summer. The finished classroom is currently being monitored to compare its new energy consumption and lighting quality performance with an unchanged adjacent classroom over the course of the 2012-2013 school year. The purpose is to better understand the financial and educational impacts of a green renovation.
The project has been made possible through service donations from Orange County architects, designers and contractors, as well as material donations from building product manufacturers, such as CertainTeed Gypsum, and distributors. USGBC-Orange County chose AirRenew for the project’s interior walls, as its formaldehyde-scavenging properties make it a valuable tool for building optimal IAQ.
“In regards to gypsum board, AirRenew made the most sense for this project, as it will help us toward our goal of minimizing the VOC content of the classroom’s interior air,” says Lindsey Engels, LEED® AP BD+C, executive director for USGBC-Orange County. “Now that it’s installed, you can really tell the difference between the two classrooms. If you go into the untouched classroom after it’s been closed up for the night, it smells like an old 1950s-era classroom—there’s plenty of VOC off-gassing. But, if you go into the newly remodeled classroom next door, you hardly smell anything.”
The gypsum board was installed by Nevell Group Inc, of Brea, Calif., along with CertainTeed® Sustainable Insulation™ fiberglass batts donated by Alert Insulation in La Puente, Calif. In addition to several green building products, the project’s greenovation strategy included an asbestos abatement; low-VOC, recycled carpeting, paint and ceiling panels; dimmable lighting; skylights and an energy-efficient new HVAC system. The sum of all these parts has led to quite a favorable reaction from Davis Magnet School teachers, as well as students.
“Throughout the year, the school is going to rotate different classes through the remodeled classroom—all the teachers and students want to be in there!” Engels says.
AirRenew actively helps clean the air by capturing formaldehyde and other aldehydes and converting them into inert compounds that safely remain within the board. The product also features CertainTeed’s M2Tech® technology, which is specially engineered to provide enhanced protection against moisture and mold. As new sources of formaldehyde — such as cleaning agents, air fresheners, floor coverings and furniture — are introduced into the interior environment, AirRenew will continue to scavenge formaldehyde ultimately improving indoor air quality. AirRenew contains up to 96 percent total recycled content and can be installed, finished, and recycled like standard drywall. AirRenew is GREENGUARD® Children & Schools Certified and has completed UL Environment’s stringent Environmental Claims Validation program.
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.
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. Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CertainTeed earned the 2011 and 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. The group had total sales of approximately $3.3 billion in 2012. www.certainteed.com