Environmentally Friendly Design for Ford Plant

Ford’s River Rouge manufacturing plant in Dearborn, Michigan, USA is undergoing a massive re-make. The first stage in this is the new truck plant which will be the world’s most environmentally sensitive vehicle plant.

The new plant which was designed by William McDonough of William McDonough and Partners, who is referred to as a guru of green design has incorporated numerous environmentally friendly aspects into the factory. These include:

  • The Green Roof – The roof area which extends for 10 acres has been designed to be functional as well as aesthetic. Apart from reducing the visual impact of a typical factory, the roof will be covered with sedum plants which will reduce storm water runoff, convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and provide natural insulation. It will also help to maintain an almost constant temperature within the plant, reducing loads on air conditioning and heating systems. The roof also provides acoustic insulation.
  • Strom Water Treatment – Strom water will be channelled into plant filled swales where it will be cleaned before being transferred to the Rouge River.
  • Porous Parking Lots – By removing the fines from the parking lot asphalt, water and snow can more easily drain through the pavement. This reduces the need for road salt and has been found to keep cars cleaner.
  • Work Environment – Inside the plant there is an abundance of natural light with light levels being controlled by light sensors and skylights. Fresh air supplies are provided by an innovative delivery system which reduces the need for ducting.

The eco-friendly design was approved after McDonough demonstrated that he could produce shareholder value through his innovative ideas.

The plant is due to open on June 16.

Posted April 2003

Source: William McDonough and Partners

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