GM Opens First LEED Certified Manufacturing Facility

General Motors' new Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant has received a gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. The building is the only automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive any level of LEED certification according to a company statement.

A LEED certification recognizes energy design as well as environmental design and construction. Over the first ten years of operations, the facility is expected to save over 40 million gallons of water and 30 million kwh of electricity according to GM.

"Lansing Delta Township is the first of the next generation of industrial buildings," said David Skiven, executive director, GM worldwide facilities group. "It proves that sustainable manufacturing buildings can be economically built and operated. We are extremely proud of the innovative thinking of our employees and partners on the team that made this possible."

Lansing Delta Township is one of just 550 buildings worldwide that are LEED certified at any level -- of these buildings, only a third are certified at the gold level.

The plant will produce GM's new crossover vehicles -- the Saturn Outlook, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave -- and will start production during the fourth quarter of 2006.

Commenting on the certification, U.S. Green Building Council President S. Richard Fedrizzi noted that the acceptance of green buildings has been slower within the manufacturing sector than for other commercial uses. "GM's Lansing Delta Township Plant is a very good -- and large -- example of how it's possible to incorporate sustainable practices into large scale manufacturing facilities," Fedrizzi said. "Today, not only is it possible, it is cost and energy efficient, and provides a healthy environment for employees. We expect GM's plant will change the way manufacturing buildings are built in the future."

Some of the environmental highlights of the Lansing Delta Township plant include:

Energy And Atmosphere

  • Energy efficiency was designed into most systems, resulting in energy costs that are 45% lower than industry standards, with a projected savings of $1 million per year.
  • Bright task lighting and lower overhead lighting levels reduced lighting energy used in the plant by 20%, or 3 million kwh annually.
  • The 1.5 million square foot roof is made of a special white polymer that reduces heat absorption, resulting in reduced costs to cool the building.
  • No ozone-depleting substances (CFCs, HCFCs or halons) are used in any of the building's heating and cooling, refrigeration and fire suppression systems.
Materials And Resources
  • Of the construction materials used for the plant, more than 25% was composed of recycled content.
  • More than 60% of all materials used in the construction of the building were sourced through manufacturers located within 500 miles, supporting the local economy and reducing transportation energy costs.
  • Of the waste generated during construction, 80%, or 3,963 tons, was diverted from landfills.
Water Efficiency
  • Non-manufacturing water use has been reduced by 45%, for a savings of over 4.1 million gallons of water annually.
  • Rainwater is collected from the roof by a cutting-edge roof drain system. It is then stored in cisterns above rest rooms and is used instead of potable water to flush toilets.
Sustainable Site
  • 50% of the site was left undeveloped. 75 acres has been set aside to preserve existing plants and wildlife habitat.
  • The site is managed through a system that uses unpaved ditches and culverts. This system allows much of the water to be naturally absorbed into the soil and groundwater in the area, and filters out solids before water leaves the site.
  • All landscaping added to the site consists of either native species or specially adapted drought-resistant plants to eliminate the need for an irrigation system.
For more information visit the U.S. Green Building Council: http://www.usgbc.org
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