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Comcast Center

CertainTeed Products Reach New Heights  

Towering over the Philadelphia skyline at 975 feet, the city’s new 58-story Comcast Center is a high-performance sustainable building with an abundance of features that will conserve energy and reduce environmental impacts.  

The building, which opened for business in July 2008, was designed to receive LEED® certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Developer Liberty Property Trust was recently awarded a LEED for Core & Shell Gold Certification from USGBC. The LEED for Core & Shell rating system acknowledges developers and encourages the implementation of green design and construction practices, as do all LEED certification programs.  

The project has been on the cutting edge of sustainable design since its conception. Comcast Center uses 40% less water than the average office building, and its water fixtures will save more than 3 million gallons of drinking water each year. Water is also conserved in the Center’s winter garden, which features a roof designed to capture and store an estimated 60,000 gallons of rainwater annually that will be used for irrigation throughout the building. During colder months the winter garden’s granite floors capture heat that is later radiated back into the building at night, supplementing the heating system.  

The use of natural lighting also plays a key role in the building’s sustainability. The Center features a low-E, low-iron glass curtain that blocks 60% of heat while allowing 70% of the sun’s visible light through. The building was designed around an internal concrete stair and elevator core, making it possible to integrate 11-foot floor-to-ceiling windows that allow for optimum exposure to natural light well into the interiors of its office space. These design elements reduce energy consumption for air conditioning and the need for electric day-lighting.

Additionally, Liberty Property Trust diverted 77% of the construction waste generated during the building’s construction to salvaging and recycling, preventing some 20,000 tons of waste from ending up in a landfill.

A large part of sustainable design is paying close attention to every component in the building envelope and deciding which building products will provide the most sustainable results in that area. CertainTeed products are an increasingly popular choice for LEED certified projects throughout the United States.

Comcast Center is constructed with materials containing high levels of recycled content. Offering optimum sustainability, seven CertainTeed products are featured throughout Comcast Center: CertainTeed Ecophon® Focus™ D and Ecophon® Focus™ Dg ceiling panels; Trelisio™, Claro® and Ceilencio® ceiling products from CertainTeed’s Signature by Decoustics line; CertaPro™ AcoustaTherm™ Batt Insulation; and SoftTouch™ Duct Wrap Insulation.

Two of CertainTeed’s highest recycled content products — Ecophon Focus D and Focus Dg — were selected for the Center. Wyatt, Inc., of Philadelphia, the ceilings and partitions contractor for much of the building, installed approximately 13,000 square feet of Focus D and Focus Dg ceiling panels in Comcast Corporation’s executive conference room and on-site restaurants Ralph’s Café and Table 31 Steakhouse Bistro.

“The Ecophon ceiling panels went into the grid well, and they provide a nice, clean, monolithic look to the ceiling, especially with all the light fixtures incorporated,” says Jeff Slaney, Project Superintendent for Wyatt. “The customer really liked the look of the panels. The Ecophon panels also provide easy tilt-down access when repairs are needed for the light fixtures and ductwork, so that provides another great advantage for the customer.”

In addition to smooth installation and spectacular results, the use of Ecophon Focus D and Focus Dg gave the project a significant green boost. With LEED-recycled content of 73%, both products offer the highest such percentage of any ceiling panel available in North America.

CertainTeed products were also used in Govberg Jewelers, a high-end watch and jewelry retailer located in the Comcast Center. The store features multi-finish ceiling applications that include the Ceilencio concealed ceiling system, Trelisio stainless steel woven wire panels and Claro acoustically transparent coating. These products are all from CertainTeed Ceilings’ Signature by Decoustics collection.

The Comcast Center serves as the headquarters for Comcast Corporation, the largest provider of cable services in the United States with 24.4 million cable customers throughout the country. 

Project: Sustainable office building  

Location: Philadelphia, PA  

Application: Acoustical Ceilings  

Architect: Robert A.M. Stern Architects  

Contractor: Wyatt, Inc.  

Products: Ecophon® Focus™ D/Ecophon® Focus™ Dg  

Distributor: The Kempf Company 

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