By Nick Gilbert
General Mills’ new customer service unit at Fort Wayne, Indiana, has earned LEED Gold authentication from the U.S. Green Building Council. The unit is the biggest warehouse and distribution unit in North America to obtain LEED Gold and the third biggest globally.
General Mills’ customer service unit at Social Circle, Georgia, inaugurated in 2010, is the second biggest in the U.S. and the fourth biggest globally.
The various proficient technologies adopted and environmentally friendly aspects included in the project include the following: (i) white colored roof and full concrete paving that reflects light and heat and reduces power cost significantly; (ii) low-flow plumbing fittings that reduce water usage by 33%; (iii) ponds that hold storm water that flows from the roof and paved area for future irrigation of the surrounding vegetation; (iv) roof-mounted up-blast exhaust fans and wall louvers, occupancy sensors, power-saving light fittings and extremely efficient HVAC systems, etc. that make the unit 45% more efficient than similar standard industrial buildings; and (v) high-quality ventilation that surpasses fresh air stipulations by 30%.
The unit was awarded LEED Gold due to other attributes which include: (i) a total of 596 tons of material, i.e. 85% of construction debris, was diverted from landfills for proper recycling and reuse; (ii) 44% of the recycled material was recovered from the surrounding 500 miles of the site; and (iii) green power certification has been obtained for over 70% of the building’s electricity use, indicating an investment in future methods of non-fossil fuel power sources.
The unit will use a centralized computer-based transportation arrangement, which helps General Mills to properly plan, load and route their various vehicles. The structure was constructed by Rockefeller Group Development Corporation located in New York.