The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently recognized the Gatorade Blue Ridge facility in Wytheville, Va., with its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation at a Gold-level certification. At 950,000 square feet, the facility is the largest food and beverage site in the world to achieve this designation.

The LEED Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for evaluating sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere efficiency, material and resource selection and indoor environmental quality.

The Gatorade Blue Ridge facility earned this special recognition with three key accomplishments.

  1. A plant design that drives energy and environmental optimization. The plant maximizes the use of supply water and optimizes wastewater treatment efficiency.
  2. The facility also installed state-of-the-art energy-saving measures such as high-efficiency boilers, water heaters, and HVAC equipment with calibrated control systems.
    Respect for the ecosystem and habitat during site planning and development, a critical element of sustainability. Half of the facility's 135 acres will be returned to its natural state to promote biodiversity.
  3. The incorporation of a compelling educational component. More than 20 key LEED components in the facility are prominently displayed with permanent education posters that tell the story of the LEED mission and describe specific environmental, economic, and social benefits of the site.

The plant design also encourages employees to support the environment with premiere employee parking for bicycles, car pools and hybrid vehicles.

What Is The USGBC?

The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation's leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations working together to transform the way buildings are designed, built, and operated. Green buildings are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. Since its founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 8,400 member companies and organizations, an 85-person professional staff, a broad portfolio of LEED green building products and services, the industry's popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (http://www.greenbuildexpo.org) and a network of over 70 local chapters, affiliates and organizing groups.


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