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CertainTeed and Saint-Gobain go green with new North American HQ

By: Catherine Kavanaugh

April 14, 2014

Renovation work is ready to begin on a LEED-certified headquarters for building materials maker Cie. de Saint-Gobain and its subsidiary, CertainTeed Corp., which will be moving from their current base in Valley Forge, Pa., nearby to the former HQ for Aegon Group in Malvern, Pa.

By relocating to the 65-acre campus previously used for Aegon’s life insurance operation, Saint-Gobain, which bills itself as the world’s largest building materials company, will have room to house its research team at its central office and turn it into a living laboratory.

Company officials signed a long-term lease for 320,000-square feet of space and hired E. Kahn Development Corp. and J. Loew Associates to redesign the campus using Saint-Gobain’s portfolio of building materials from CertainTeed, SAGE Glass, Saint-Gobain ADFORS, and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, among others.

The new headquarters will be a “shining example of a 21st century manufacturing business” and a cutting-edge workplace for the next generation of employees trying to solve problems related to healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings, according to John Crowe, president and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations.

“With the building industry continuing to rebound, we’ve seized the opportunity to create a focal point for innovative design and development on the Eastern Seaboard, a place where our businesses and employees can continue to grow in a fully integrated, modern space that promotes collaboration across our business units, while offering significant room for future expansion,” Crowe said in a statement.

The consolidation of the research unit into the headquarters will increase the number of employees at the headquarters by about 120 to more than 800.

Founded in 1665 by French King Louis XIV in Paris, Saint-Gobain is nearing its 350th anniversary. The company has more than 265 locations in North America and about 19,000 employees. Saint-Gobain reported 2013 sales of about $7.9 billion in the United States and Canada.