By Joel Scanlon
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification to the Chattanooga manufacturing plant of Volkswagen.
The Chattanooga facility is the primary and only automotive manufacturing plant globally to be awarded the Platinum certification, which acknowledges peak performance.
Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga, said that the LEED certification is the realization of a pledge that Volkswagen had made and that they will work in agreement with the environment. He further added that they had planned to construct the factory from the scratch in compliance with the LEED stipulations economically to put into action ecologically conscientious constructing techniques.
Features of the facility that merited the LEED recognition include 6” of mineral rock wool, which provides insulation ensuing in savings of 720,000 kW per year. The regional hydroelectric dam supplies green power and using LED lighting outside reduces light pollution and less energy usage of 68%. Other initiatives are collection of rainwater to flush toilets that incorporate low-flow water fixtures and chill the welding machines and contact-less sensors integrated in the plant to lessen water usage by 30%, a highly reflective white roof membrane to lessen the effect of heat island by 50⁰F and natural flowing creeks to lock up the severe rains and reinstate a natural environment. The paint shop can by itself save water upto 50 million gallons in about 10 years.
The facility was erected on a brownfield property without damage to nature. Sheltered wide creeks of 100 ft and marshland were set up to construct natural habitats with less bearing on natural habitats. USGBA certified the Volkswagen Academy also as a Platinum LEED facility.