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June 2014: Volkswagen Chattanooga – World’s First LEED® Platinum Certified Auto Manufacturing Plant

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 2014: Volkswagen Chattanooga – World’s First LEED® Platinum Certified Auto Manufacturing Plant

Volkswagen's Chattanooga manufacturing plant is the first and only automotive manufacturing facility in the world to receive platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification program. As Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO, and Founding Chair of USGBC explained, "Building operations are nearly 40% of the solution to the global climate change challenge...innovative companies like Volkswagen Chattanooga are addressing it through local solutions."

These local solutions include the collection and reuse of rainwater to flush toilets and cool the facility's welding machines, a highly-reflective membrane used on 1.8 million square feet of roof surface to minimize the heat island effect by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and superior building insulation provided by six inches of mineral rock wool, which results in 720,000 Kilowatts per year of savings.

Unlike traditional shops that use water to collect paint overspray, the Chattanooga paint shop is the world's first to utilize a dry-scrubber system. The paint shop then collects the powder and sends it to a local company where it is used to make concrete. As a result, the ultra-clean paint shop will save 50 million gallons of water over a ten-year period. In addition, the dry-scrubber system makes it possible to recycle 85% of the air in the spray booths. Due to this air recycling, 42% power and 85% heating energy are conserved.

Skylights are generously used throughout the building to provide natural lighting, reducing energy demand from light fixtures. Green power is supplied by the local hydroelectric dam. The use of LED lighting on the building's exterior results in a 68% reduction in energy consumption, which accounts for up to 262,500 kWh savings per year as well as a reduction in light pollution. Volkswagen Chattanooga features the state's largest solar array, which provides up to 12% of the plant's energy during peak production and 100% during non-production times.

There are dedicated carpool and vanpool parking spaces in the main lot in addition to preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. The automobile manufacturing facility was built on a 1,350 acre brownfield site with no destruction of untouched nature.

For a video of the VW Chattanooga plant, click here.

Source & Image: © Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations LLC