Our Chattanooga manufacturing plant has become the first and only automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification program. Platinum certification is the highest level of performance in the green building certification program.
LEED certification is an internationally-recognized green building certification system developed by the USGBC in March of 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.
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 exterior lighting results in 68% less energy used, up to 262,500 kWh per year and a reduction in light pollution.
- Collected rainwater is reused to flush toilets and cool the welding machines
- Highly reflective white roof, which minimizes “heat island effect” by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Natural flowing creeks to capture heavy rains and restore a natural habitat
- Low-flow water fixtures and no-touch sensors throughout the plant reduce water usage by 30%.
- Plant was built on a brownfield property with no destruction of untouched nature.
- Protected 100 ft. wide creeks and wetlands were established to create natural habitats with low impact on natural habitats.
“Volkswagen Chattanooga’s LEED Platinum certification is the fulfillment of a promise that Volkswagen has made around the world and in this community that we will work in harmony with the environment,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “Our commitment to building a LEED certified factory began in the planning and design stages. I believe that this not only helped insure that we would achieve Platinum status, but was actually a very cost effective way to implement environmentally responsible building methods,” he said.
The Volkswagen Academy 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.