Saint-Gobain Opens North American Corporate Headquarters

Glass Magazine
October 20, 2015

Saint-Gobain announced the official opening of its new, state-of-the-art North American corporate headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The 320,000-square-foot campus, situated on 65 acres, underwent a renovation over the past 18 months to transform the long-dormant site into a dynamic showcase for Saint-Gobain and its North American construction materials subsidiary, CertainTeed Corporation. Designed to take full advantage of Saint-Gobain and its family of companies’ extensive portfolio of products, the headquarters opens on the exact day Saint-Gobain was founded 350 years ago by King Louis XIV of France to manufacture glass for the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in Paris.

The opening of the headquarters marks the culmination of a yearlong celebration commemorating Saint-Gobain’s 350th anniversary and was celebrated Oct. 15 with employees, members of the community and dignitaries, including Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack; Pennsylvania State Sen. Andy Dinniman; City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter; U.S. Green Building Council President Roger Platt; and Karen P. Butler, National Manager of Energy Star Commercial Building Design of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed’s Headquarters is designed to demonstrate the power our products have to improve the quality of people’s lives. It is a shining example of how innovative companies can design, construct and renovate sustainable, healthy, comfortable and environmentally friendly buildings around the world,” said John Crowe, President and CEO of Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Corporations.

The E. Kahn Development Corp. and J. Loew & Associates Inc., in collaboration with AEGON USA Realty Advisors LLC, led the headquarters’ redesign. Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed Headquarters is a high-performance, sustainable building designed to achieve the highest level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In April 2014, Saint-Gobain signed a long-term lease for the campus that will be the workplace of more than 800 employees across Saint-Gobain and CertainTeed. Saint-Gobain elected to keep its headquarters in Chester County to retain its well-established talent base and continue its contribution to the financial vitality of Chester County and the Greater Philadelphia area. The expanded campus is also home to CertainTeed’s Malvern Innovation Center, which opened in October 2014, and marks the first time the company’s local research and operations teams will share a site. The new headquarters also boasts significant open-concept office space; 116 collaborative spaces; a cafeteria, along with other food and beverage spaces; a fitness facility; a pond; a fountain installation; and 1.3 miles of walking trails.

“The headquarters means 120 new jobs for Chester County and the building was designed to allow for the continued expansion of Saint-Gobain right here in our state, creating the possibility of even more jobs in the future,” said Lt. Gov. Stack. “Saint-Gobain's 350-year history tells us that the company is a success and its decision to locate its new U.S. headquarters here serves as a testament to the opportunities that are open to a company when it chooses to make Pennsylvania its home.”

Key project members included Bernardon as the designer for the exterior and lobby; Jacobs as the designer for the interior; D. Fickler Construction LLC as the contractor; and Binswanger as the real estate broker and project manager.

“Our products have been used in some of the most iconic buildings of the modern age from the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles to the glass pyramid at the Louvre to the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center,” said Crowe. “It was time for us to create a space here in North America that honored the accomplishments of 14 generations of innovation and dedication to improving a building’s environment. Furthermore, we needed a space to enable our most important asset—our employees—to create the next chapter of our innovation legacy.”