The Project

For five years, GCP Applied Technologies has partnered with the Weitz Construction Academy at Seminole Ridge High School in Loxahatchee, Florida, to provide needed products and educate their students.

The Weitz Construction Academy is open to all Palm Beach County students. It is a certified National Career Academy Coalition program designed for those seeking a career in the construction industry immediately upon graduation and students desiring to obtain a post-secondary degree in construction-related fields. Throughout their four years in the Academy, students are taught the construction skills necessary to pass their chosen trades certification examinations. They also receive significant OSHA construction safety training; obtaining first their 10-hour OSHA Certification Card, then 30-hour OSHA Certification Card, and finally Level 70 Advanced OSHA construction training provided by the Southeast USA OSHA training center at the University of South Florida. The students receive valuable training through actual jobsite work experience where they plan, develop and produce real-world construction projects.

For the academic 2019/2020 school year, GCP once again donated their premium residential products—roofing underlayment and weather barriers—to the Weitz Construction Academy for their students to build two new houses for Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County. The Habitat houses are 1,206 square feet with three bedrooms and two baths. The houses are built in modular sections by students in the school’s workshop, then transported via truck to the Habitat jobsite to be assembled for their future homeowners.

The Challenge

Weather in Florida isn’t what it used to be. Tropical storms and hurricane seasons have intensified in recent years. Houses need to be able to withstand the worst, no matter their size.

Another challenge is that before the siding is installed on these modular houses, they are transported from the school’s workshop to the Habitat jobsite, exposing the house to highway speed winds without the protection of siding.

The Solution

“Not only does GCP donate a lot of product to us, they provide a representative to teach the students how to install their products,” said David Porter, Weitz Construction Academy volunteer architect and project manager.”

GCP donated GRACE ICE & WATER SHIELD® self-adhered roofing underlayment to provide premium performance for the modular houses’ roofing systems, as it seals to itself at overlaps, seals to the roof deck and seals around the fasteners used to attach the shingles. All these features help prevent water from leaking into a home. GCP also donated their VYCOR® enV-S™ weather resistive barrier that does not require mechanical fasteners to secure in place. It utilizes the latest in residential building science to create an air-tight, yet “breathable” home and achieves the highest product performance available. VYCOR® enV-S™ weather barrier also resists damage due to jobsite conditions and wind.

“GCP’s VYCOR® enV-S™ weather resistive barrier is a standout product, even passing our highway wind test each time,” said Porter. “Before installing siding on the modular house, we transport the house from the school workshop to the Habitat jobsite. The truck drivers put VYCOR® enV-S™ weather barrier to the test by hitting the highway at 70mph during the trip. We call it our ‘category 1 hurricane test,’ and the weather barrier has survived nicely, without a hint of peeling away. Prior to discovering VYCOR® enV-S™ weather barrier, our use of standard building wraps ended up with most of it pulling away from the sheathing, like sails in the wind, and ended up on the roadway!”

“The Habitat homeowners who will be living in these houses have the assurance that their new home will be watertight from top to bottom with GCP’s construction products, VYCOR® enV-S™ weather resistive barrier and GRACE ICE & WATER SHIELD® self-adhered roof underlayment,” said Robert Flood, Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County Quality Control Representative. “Due to GCP’s overwhelming generosity, Habitat for Humanity has been able to build new beginnings for families in need of homes that they can count on, protecting them from Mother Nature. Using these wonderful materials will provide a safe and stable place for the homeowners.”

The houses built by the Weitz Construction Academy students provide weather protected homes for hardworking families in Palm Beach County. In exchange, the students have been given the opportunity to learn important career skills, training the next generation of construction professionals.

About GCP

GCP Applied Technologies is a leading global provider of construction products technologies that include additives for cement and concrete, the VERIFI® in-transit concrete management system, high-performance waterproofing products, and specialty systems. GCP products have been used to build some of the world’s most renowned structures. Visit GCP for information.