The largest distribution center in Michelin Group’s global operations is near the company’s North American headquarters in Greenville, S.C. It’s not just a 3.3 million-square-foot place to hold and ship tires; it’s a showplace for the tire maker’s sustainability efforts. Michelin says the distribution center, known as U70 Woodruff, is as large as 57 football fields. By the end of 2019 when it’s fully operational, it will serve approximately 60% of Michelin’s customers in North America.
“This state-of-the-art facility was designed with a focus on sustainability, a detail that is evident from the energy efficiency of the technology to the careful planning and use of natural species in the site’s landscaping.”
Here’s a rundown of a dozen of its green features:
- Since groundbreaking in November 2016, 96% of construction waste was diverted from landfill. Dirt and rocks from earth-moving were re-used in construction, while timber was saved to create office furniture and make mulch for the site. Native azaleas were also removed prior to construction and re-used in the site landscaping.
- The warehouse sits on a 461-acre site, which includes 20% of protected wetlands and upland buffer areas that are protected from future development.
- Water from the parking lots is recycled in specific ponds with plants filtering oil and grease. There are also water savings from the installation of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures — 40% less water than the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) baseline. The landscaping features native and adaptive plants that are water efficient.
- Low-consumption equipment like LED lighting inside and outside the facility will help the site achieve energy savings of 63% above a baseline energy model. Automatic shut-off features in offices as well as the warehouse help conserve, too.
- U70 Woodruff is in process of being LEED certified. It is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.
- The building is made from recycled elements, such as steel, concrete, drywall, carpet, ceiling systems, doors and insulation. Michelin says more than 40% of the cost of products used in construction are post-consumer and pre-consumer products.
- To help reduce the transportation required for construction materials, 42% of materials were mined or recovered within 500 miles of the construction site.
- Low- or no-volatile organic compounds (VOC) products were installed in the building, meaning they’re not harmful to the environment or humans. Products include paint, carpet, composite wood products, adhesives and sealants.
- There’s a focus on low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicles, too. Of the building’s parking spaces, 5% are reserved for low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicles with an ACEEE score of 39+. The fork lifts and tuggers running throughout the warehouse are fueled by hydrogen fuel cells and cast zero emissions.
- The site’s heat island effect is minimized as 87% of all hardscape materials are made of high reflectance paving materials.
- The environmental efforts include a tobacco-free worksite. The entire property is smoke-free, and that also prohibits the use of e-cigarettes.
- Even the building maintenance is green. The cleaning program will maintain a focus on low-VOC levels and safe cleaning products and processes.