GAF, the North American bellwether roofing and waterproofing manufacturer, started production on Thursday at its fifth polyisocyanurate insulation plant in Peru, Ill., two years after breaking ground. 

“Bringing another world-class manufacturing plant online is a significant milestone that strengthens our ability to deliver best-in-class service and innovative solutions across the Midwest and beyond,” said John Altmeyer, CEO of GAF. 

Peru, a rural community of 9,900, sits strategically at the crossroads of two significant highways: Interstate 80, which runs east-west, and Interstate 39, running north-south. 

The 450,000 sq. ft. plant broke ground in 2022 and is producing the company’s EnergyGuard insulation products, including its EnergyGuard NH boards made with non-halogenated flame retardants, custom and tapered design boards, and composite boards. 

"This investment in added polyiso capacity further demonstrates GAF’s commitment to growth in the commercial roofing industry,” Altmeyer added in a May 30 news release announcing the start of production.

GAF's new Peru, Ill. facility (pictured).“The team we’ve assembled here in Peru is a perfect match for the culture of innovation and growth at GAF,” said Gary Ashley, the plant manager. “We are excited to not only start up this new facility but also to serve and support the city as proud members of the community.” 

The company said the plant also adds 70 additional advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs to Peru, which GAF has spent significant time courting, weaving itself into the local fabric of the community.

Last Fall, GAF donated the roofing materials and covered the cost of installing new roofs for a local nonprofit called Wellness and Recovery with Maitri, or ‘WARM,’ which provides care for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.  

The city’s mayor told a local news outlet how grateful residents and the local government are to have GAF as an employer and community partner. Mayor Ken Kolowski said it’s “great” that GAF has started production, and the city is thrilled to have them in the community.

“When they came in a year and a half ago, they said they were going to help the community,” Kolowski told the News Tribune newspaper. “They are already a sponsor for the (Illinois Valley) Pistol Shrimp; they are going to be involved; it’s a wonderful company to have in Peru.”

The company hosted an introduction day for non-profit groups in March, emphasizing its commitment to working with the communities it operates in through its nonprofit GAF Community Matters.

GAF said all its polyiso roofing insulation is GREENGUARD-Gold certified by UL Solutions, meaning it emits low volatile organic compounds. The company’s four other polyiso manufacturing plants are located in Cedar City, Utah; Gainesville, Texas; Statesboro, Ga.; and New Columbia, Penn. 

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