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VW Making history

March 18, 2012
tags:#resources, #sustainability, #water efficiency
by:Itai Lahat
In the United States and in a number of other countries around the world, LEED certification is the recognized standard for measuring building sustainability.

Achieving LEED certification is the best way for you to demonstrate that your building project is truly green. The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction -- Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum -- that correspond to the number of credits accrued in five green design categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality.

In other words, to get the LEED Platinum is the holy grail of current green architecture, and the first company in the world to get such a certification in a manufacturing facility, is Volkswagen. Early last year Volkswagen (VW) opened its first US-based car manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Now fully operational, the VW Chattanooga plant was recently awarded LEED Platinum, making it the first and only automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive such certification. Sited on what used to be a brownfield site used to create military products - including TNT - today the new super sustainable structure features everything from passive cooling, energy efficient lighting and more.

For example, the plant is well insulated, boasting 15 cm insulated walls in some areas — twice as thick as what is standard. Almost 50 percent of the materials used to make the plant were recycled from previous products, and the designers integrated materials that could be reused and recycled should the plant ever shut down.

Beside all the green and lean approach, the plant itself is an eye candy. All that is left is to watch how the company not only build green factories, but also green cars.

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Itai Lahat