Boral Bricks Inc., the nation's largest brick manufacturer and distributor of masonry products, announced today its Terre Haute, Ind. manufacturing facility has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
Boral Bricks, an Australian based company with U.S. headquarters outside of Atlanta, has become a leader in sustainable manufacturing in the building products industry. "We are very proud to be LEED Gold," said Bob Kepford, president of Boral Bricks. "It adds credibility to the important work we're doing to ensure our manufacturing facility, processes and products are sustainable and have little impact on the environment."
LEED is a voluntary rating system developed by USGBC, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable building practices. There are four levels of certification available: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Each rating system requires buildings to meet criteria in five specific categories, including: sustainable site development, energy efficiency, water efficiency, materials and resource selection, and indoor environmental quality.
The 295,000 square foot Terre Haute facility opened in March 2008 as the largest brick plant in the United States and can produce approximately 120 million bricks per year, enough to build more than 8,300 all-brick homes. The plant is a technological marvel featuring robotic setting and packaging as well as an advanced firing process. The kiln is an astounding 530 feet long by 33 feet wide and operates at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It can accommodate 27 cars that weigh approximately 57 tons each when loaded with brick. A batch of bricks can be stacked, fired and cooled in less than 30 hours.
The facility is not only the largest brick manufacturing facility in the U.S., but it is also one of the most energy efficient. Boral Bricks has partnered with Republic Services, owners of the nearby "Victory" landfill to utilize methane gas from the landfill as a substitute for natural gas. The facility is also a zero waste plant where nearly all materials used in the process are recycled in new batches.
Additional sustainability is achieved by reclaiming shale from a nearby coal mining property for use in the manufacturing process. The plant also features premium efficiency motors, sensors and timers for minimal light usage.