Green Building | February 08, 2012 |
Volkswagen's Chattanooga Plant Gets LEED-Platinum Certification
Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tennessee facility has achieved the world's first LEED-Platinum green building certification for an automotive manufacturing plant. The $1 billion production facility makes the 2012 Passat.
The plant earned 52 of a possible 69 points to earn the Platinum designation, the highest in the LEED rating system.
Green Features include:
- Certification of the paint shop facility. Previous assembly plants have excluded their paint shop in the LEED certification process because of the complexity of the manufacturing process and the challenge of getting them certified. VW's sustainably designed paint shop will save more than 50 million gallons of water a year.
- The construction team salvaged or recycled nearly 78 percent (4,602 tons) of construction and demolition waste.
- 48 percent of total building materials were manufactured using recycled materials.
- Through low-flow water closets and urinals, the plant achieves a 58 percent reduction in potable water used for sewage conveyance. Rainwater harvested from the roof is used in the sanitary waste system. Together, these strategies save 1.7 million gallons of potable water a year. Low-flow showers, lavatory and kitchen faucets further decrease potable water usage, resulting in total savings of over 3 million gallons of potable water each year.
- A white, reflective roof reflects heat, lowering cooling costs and saving energy.
- All exterior lights at the facility provide only the minimum lighting required for safety to ensure that light does not spill into the night sky, adversely affecting the surrounding nocturnal environments through excessive glare.
- Measures to promote environmentally friendly commutes include the provision of bike racks for visitors and employees, availability of showers and lockers for employee use and preferred parking for those driving low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles and for those who carpool to the site.
The Volkswagen Academy, which trains people for work at the manufacturing plant, is also certified LEED-Platinum, earning 54 of 69 points.
Engineering and construction firm, SSOE, built the project. The company, listed among Inc. magazine's fastest growing firms, also constructed the first LEED-Gold facility in Ohio and has over a dozen projects underway at various stages of the LEED certification process.
Last August, Volkswagen announced it would invest nearly EUR 1 billion in renewable energy for its plants worldwide.
And the company plans to market an electric car in China, called Kaili, by the end of 2013 or early 2014.
In the US, Volkswagen is a member of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, an industry-led initiative that's creating an industry standard for charging electric vehicles.
Photo by Michael Gil/flickr/Creative CommonsReprinted with permission from SustainableBusiness.com