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.
“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.