VW Earns Platinum While Honda and GM Earn Gold

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] LEED Certified manufacturing proves building automobiles can be completed with a smaller carbon footprint.

    Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - Dec. 5, 2011

    A video overview describing the environmental achievement of VW’s newest automobile manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, TN.

    Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in March 2000, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

    LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.

    And today we will highlight 3 different manufacturers that are doing an excellent job at reducing energy consumption and emissions while providing a more comfortable and productive workplace.


    During our tour of VW’s brand new US manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, TN (VW’s Billion $USD Investment in the US), we discovered that it not only produces one of the most fuel efficient vehicles available in North America in the form of the 2012 VW Passat TDI (31/43 mpgUS city/highway) but it does so in a very environmentally conscious manner.

    In a ceremony with approximately 200 state and local government officials, VW executives from both the US and abroad and a number of local journalists on hand, VW was recognized as being the only automobile manufacturing facility in the world to earn a coveted LEED Platinum designation!

    LEED Platinum certification recognizes the highest level of building environmental performance and is recognition of the hard work that VW has placed into making the Chattanooga, TN facility not just one of the best but “the best” automobile manufacturing facilities on the planet.

    Volkswagen Chattanooga's LEED Platinum certification is the fulfillment of a promise that Volkswagen made to work in harmony with the environment following the best practices known to manufacturers today.

    The Chattanooga plant is the latest of VW’s green investments in North America with an astute focus on its environmental responsibility and sustainability that is reflected in the plant’s features:
    • Responsible Land Re-Use: The plant is under construction at Enterprise South, previously a Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant, now fully remediated and certified by the Tennessee Valley Authority. VW partnered with the state and city to distribute saplings for every tree displaced by construction.

    • Energy Efficiency: Using the most efficient electric motors available for automated machinery, advanced laser welding technology, smart ventilation systems, improved air circulators and deflectors, air-to-air heat exchangers, continuous line lighting system with T5 bulbs and outside high pressure sodium vapor lights with mirror technology will save the annual energy use of 1,880 households.

    • Wise Water Use: Meander creeks will collect, filter and recycle storm water to be used in a cooling pond and restrooms, helping save 359,999 (now upwards of 500,000) gallons of fresh water, enough to meet the needs of almost 22 households each year.

    • Groundwater, waste management and sewage systems meet stringent LEED standards to avoid flash floods originating from the plant, manage runoff and regulate the water supply.

    • Emissions Reductions: A newly engineered base coat reduces vehicle paint drying time and CO2 emissions by 20 percent. Environmentally friendly roofing of thermoplastic polyolefins saves energy by improving weather resistance and resilience. Smart insulation in the plant walls is six-inch mineral rock wool panel for energy savings with no VOCs or CFCs — and it’s 100 percent recyclable. The facility is also a completely tobacco-free workplace.
    One of the key measures taken at the plant is the use of a painting process without any filler, which reduces CO2 emissions by about 20 percent. Water efficiency at the plant also meets the most stringent requirements.

    Volkswagen built the world's first automobile paint shop to use a waterless separation process for topcoat application. Thanks to the use of collected rainwater, water consumption at the Chattanooga plant is also considerably lower than at facilities of a comparable size. In addition, the U.S. plant is the first Volkswagen facility to rely entirely on energy-saving LED systems for outdoor lighting. The production buildings and offices are also equipped only with energy-saving lamps controlled by motion sensors. The entire lighting system of the plant uses some 20 percent less energy than a comparable facility.

    Dieter Schleifer, Manager of Plant Infrastructure for VW in Chattanooga:
    Judith Webb, VW Group's Chief Marketing Officer:
    Other aspects of the plant that earned LEED recognition include:
    • Superior insulation provided by six inches of mineral rock wool, resulting in 720,000 Kilowatts per year savings.
    • Green power from the local hydroelectric dam.
    • Use of LED lighting on the exterior results in 68% less energy used, up to 262,500 kWh per year and a reduction in light pollution.
    • Rainwater collected and reused to cool the welding machines.
    • White roof membrane is highly reflective, minimizing heat island effect by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Low-flow water fixtures and no-touch sensors throughout the plant reduce water usage by 30%.
    The Volkswagen Academy located adjacent to the manufacturing facility was also certified by USGBA as a Platinum LEED facility. The primary purpose of the Volkswagen Academy is to prepare new employees for work at the Volkswagen plant. In conjunction with Chattanooga State and Tennessee Tech, the Academy also offers an Industrial Technology degree and an apprenticeship program.


    Honda does not yet have an LEED Platinum certified manufacturing facility but it leads all automakers with eleven LEED-Certified "Green Buildings" in North America with a Platinum LEED certified Honda parts warehouse and training facility in Gresham, Oregon.

    Honda Engineering North America, Inc.'s Powertrain Division in Anna, Ohio, and Honda Canada, Inc.'s new head office in Markham, Ontario are each certified as LEED "green-buildings" bringing Honda’s total number of LEED-certified facilities in North America to eleven the, the most LEED-certified buildings of any automaker. Honda Engineering North America's Anna facility has earned LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, while Honda Canada's head office has earned LEED-Gold certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

    Honda Engineering North America's Powertrain Division, in Anna, Ohio, provides manufacturing tooling design and engineering support for the production of engines at the adjacent Anna Engine Plant, the largest automobile engine plant in Honda's global production network.

    During construction of the expanded facility, the company used locally sourced materials where possible and diverted more than 185 cubic yards of construction material from landfills, recycling or reusing more than 50 percent of total construction materials. The expanded facility is now equipped with cool-roof materials, more energy-efficient lighting controls and advanced indoor-air-quality management systems.

    Water conservation measures in the facility include the use of low-flow toilets and bathroom fixtures, which have reduced the building's water use by approximately 30 percent from earlier levels. Annual CO2 emissions from the facility have been cut by approximately 470,000 pounds.

    Honda Canada's new 138,000-square-foot head office, one of three buildings on the company's 53-acre campus in Markham, Ontario, utilizes a north-south orientation along with an energy efficient underfloor air-distribution system and a heat-reflective white roof to reduce energy consumption. Innovative water management at the new facility has reduced potable water consumption by 44 percent, compared to the company's previous facility. Also, landscape design provides for on-site storm water treatment through the use of bioswales and water collection. During construction of the campus, the company used locally sourced materials where possible, and diverted construction material from landfills, recycling or reusing 75 percent of total construction materials.

    Honda has been steadily expanding its portfolio of LEED-certified green buildings in North America since 1999, when the company's Gresham, Oregon, parts warehouse and service training facility became the first mixed-use industrial building in America to achieve LEED-Gold EB (Existing Building) certification.

    In addition to the new Markham, Ontario, and Anna, Ohio, facilities, the company's green building portfolio in North America includes:
    • American Honda parts warehouse and training facility in Gresham, Oregon, now LEED-Platinum certified.

    • American Honda data center in Longmont, Colorado, the first LEED-Version 2.2. Silver-certified data center in the U.S.

    • American Honda parts consolidation center in Troy, Ohio (LEED-Gold).

    • American Honda Finance Corp.'s Mid-Atlantic Region facility in Wilmington, Delaware (LEED-Gold CI for Commercial Interiors).

    • Honda R&D Americas, Inc.'s Acura Design Studio in Torrance, California; its Marine Engine Research Facility in Grant-Valkaria, Florida; and its central plant facility in Raymond, Ohio (all LEED-Gold).

    • Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, LLC's welcome center at its auto plant in Greensburg, Indiana (LEED).

    • Honda Aircraft Company, Inc.'s world headquarters, R&D facility and the home of the HondaJet very light jet, in Greensboro, North Carolina (LEED-Gold).
    Green building features at Honda facilities in the U.S. include such items as conservation easements; low-flow bathroom and kitchen fixtures; more energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning systems, lamps and lighting controls; Energy Star-rated appliances; cool roof materials; and wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.


    GM just this morning released information about its Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant being the company’s first in United States to receive an ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy efficiency from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    To qualify, the plant had to perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency and meet strict energy performance levels set by the EPA from 2010 to 2011.

    The facility, which builds the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse, also showcased safe lighting levels that meet the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America’s recommended best practices, such as ensuring adequate lighting to perform certain tasks.

    To achieve the designation, GM had to achieve the following:
    • They designed the plant to meet LEED Gold standard for energy efficiency in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning without using steam.

    • Integrated energy management into monthly performance scorecards.

    • Used efficient lighting and daylight harvesting to conserve energy.

    • Had to monitors hourly energy use and plant controls to keep non-production energy to a minimum.

    • Engaged employees to think green through an energy quality suggestion program.
    LDT is GM’s newest plant in the United States, blending best manufacturing and environmental protection practices and the latest technology into one facility. It was the largest and most complex manufacturing site to receive any level of LEED certification when it first opened in 2006.

    In addition to energy conservation, LDT has implemented other sustainable practices including rainwater collection from the roof is used to flush toilets instead of potable water, waterless urinals save more than 1 million gallons of water annually and 75 acres have been set aside to preserve existing plants and wildlife habitat.

    The EPA helps auto manufacturers overcome barriers to using energy efficiently and provides energy management resources unique to the industry.
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I debated making this a news item and I still may but in the interim…

    Earlier today Honda announced that it now has two production facilities in Ohio that earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2011 ENERGY STAR due to the company's ongoing efforts to operate energy-efficient facilities. This marks the fifth consecutive year that both Honda auto plants in Ohio, in Marysville and East Liberty, have earned this recognition.

    The EPA bases the award on the amount of energy needed to produce an automobile, taking into account factors such as vehicle size and production volume. Electricity and natural gas represent 95 percent of total energy consumption in the production of automobiles. Honda has ongoing conservation initiatives to minimize the environmental impact from the use of fossil fuels, including a reduction of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

    Karen Heyob, leader of Honda's Environmental Initiatives at Honda of America Mfg.:
    Established in 1982, the Marysville Auto Plant employs more than 4,000 associates who produce* all the Honda Accord sedans and coupes sold in America, as well as the Acura TL and Acura RDX models. With 2,500 associates, the East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP) pioneered the use of waterborne auto painting and returnable parts containers when it started production in 1989. Today, ELP is the primary production site for the Honda CR-V and Honda Crosstour.

    Honda's energy-reduction efforts range from real-time monitoring of electricity use to advanced compressed air management programs. For example, the company mounted aggressive programs to eliminate air leaks in compressed air systems, and to optimize the use of compressed air by reducing pressure. In addition, real-time monitoring helps identify equipment that can be turned off when production isn't taking place during breaks, between shifts and on weekends.

    At the Marysville Auto Plant, Honda's highest volume auto plant in North America, centralized steam used for heat and humidification was replaced with more efficient localized systems. A new "fog" humidification system for the plant's painting operations is 80 percent energy efficient and automatically shuts off when not needed.

    A major paint renovation at the East Liberty plant has reduced the size of automobile painting booths by 43 percent and streamlined operations by reducing the number of painting robots. With completion of this four-year project in 2012, the resulting savings in heating and electrical power consumption will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 10,000 tons annually.

    The East Liberty plant also recently completed installation of a new instrument panel paint line that utilizes benchmark coating and energy conservation technologies. The new line doubles paint transfer efficiency compared with the old system and additional energy savings comes from recycling 90 percent of the conditioned paint booth air.

    A Building Management System at the Marysville facility is programmed to automatically shut off building functions when not needed, including pumps, chillers, air compressors, lights and air-handling systems. In addition, the plant has disconnected 1,071 high-bay lights in areas where illumination no longer is needed, reducing CO2 emissions by 672 tons annually.

  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    While GM has no Platinum certified plants in its system, they now have 30 in the US have averaged a 25 percent reduction in energy intensity. An exact definition of intensity was not provided however.

    GM has cut energy intensity at 30 North American plants by an average of 25 percent – equivalent to the emissions from powering 97,000 U.S. homes – to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Challenge for Industry.

    Collectively, the manufacturing facilities avoided more than 778,380 metric tons of greenhouse gas. It would require the planting of 20 million trees that grow for 10 years to mitigate the same amount.

    GM Saves $50 million in energy costs

    EPA’s program challenges manufacturing companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving their energy efficiency by 10 percent within five years. The GM plants agreed to establish an energy intensity baseline normalized by production volume. They set a 10-percent improvement goal, implemented energy efficiency projects, tracked energy use and verified savings.

    To achieve the challenge, GM employed tactics such as benchmarking energy use through energy management systems; automating shut-down of equipment; and upgrading to energy-efficient lighting and more-efficient heating and cooling systems.

    The achievements follow the Lansing (Mich.) Delta Township plant receiving EPA Energy Star Certification for performing in the top 25th percentile of similar facilities nationwide. Worldwide, GM is committed to reducing emissions and petroleum dependence by being more energy efficient.

    GM’s 30 plants represent nearly a third of all sites that have achieved the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry. According to the EPA, 86 of the 386 manufacturing sites that have taken the challenge have met the goal to date, improving their energy efficiency by 10 percent or more.


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