CertainTeed contributes to sustainable design

(Valley Forge, Pa.) – The new 7 World Trade Center in New York City towers at a majestic 52 stories (741 feet) high and covers a staggering 1.7 million square-feet of floor space, the majority of which has already been leased to a distinguished roster of tenants.

The new structure also features an improved design, which emphasizes occupant safety and sustainability and features enough green design components for the building to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status. Green design highlights include ample natural lighting, recycled materials used for insulation and other interior materials and individually metered power for tenants to encourage them to conserve energy.

With these new design criteria, it was important for the building’s developer Silverstein Properties, Inc., and their tenants to select sustainable, energy-efficient and thermally efficient building products. In such projects, one building component that demands attention is the HVAC system, as it provides air distribution for the whole building. To help provide efficient air distribution and minimize the leakage of valuable conditioned air, 7 World Trade Center’s tenants opted to have CertainTeed(R) SoftTouch(TM) Duct Wrap installed as external insulation for the HVAC ductwork.

SoftTouch Duct Wrap Insulation is a foil scrim kraft (FSK)-faced flexible fiberglass blanket insulation used to insulate the exterior of rectangular and round heating, ventilating and air conditioning ductwork. Ideal for green construction projects, it provides thermal efficiency that reduces unwanted heat loss or gain from equipment and ductwork. When properly installed in the correct thickness, SoftTouch virtually eliminates ductwork condensation problems that can often lead to mold and microbial growth.

“Having an efficient HVAC system that conserves energy and conditioned air is a very important component of sustainable design in commercial buildings,” says Renee Chesler, General Manager of CertainTeed’s Mechanical Insulation Business. “SoftTouch Duct Wrap helps achieve this by sealing off potential leaks and maintaining a constant temperature throughout the ductwork.”

John Grando Inc., a Heat & Frost Insulators Local 12 insulation contractor in New York, was hired to do a majority of the duct insulation at 7 World Trade Center. Thus far, they have installed about 300,000 square feet of SoftTouch Duct Wrap, supplied by the Hicksville, N.Y., branch of insulation distributor Allstate Insulation Corp., throughout the building. After working with the mechanical insulation product, the contractor’s crews were impressed.

“Our crews like it,” says Chris Grando, President of John Grando, Inc. “Soft touch is easy to handle, it cuts extremely well, and while handling the product, loose glass fibers are at a minimum. Having a good product to install certainly makes your productivity levels increase.”

The John Grando crews are expected to finish their work at 7 World Trade Center later this year.

Silverstein Properties is currently developing three more office towers at the World Trade Center site. Towers 2, 3, and 4 along Greenwich Street will follow 7 World Trade Center's lead, in terms of life safety issues and sustainable design, and each building will provide flexible, efficient floor space. Enhancing the office space, the rebuilt World Trade Center complex will eventually provide a retail complex, the memorial park and museum, a major transportation hub, and a performing arts center. For more information on the World Trade Center project, visit www.wtc.com.