Hyundai and Volkswagen Go for Green Facilities
(02/15/2012)

COSTA MESA, Calif. and ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Marking the possible next wave in green facilities, Hyundai and Volkswagen announced planned and completed green projects — a new facility for Hyundai, and LEED certification for two of Volkswagen's facilities.

Earlier this year, Hyundai Motor America released a rendering of its proposed new U.S. headquarters in Fountain Valley, Calif., which has served as the company’s national base of operations for 20 years. Construction of the new building is expected to begin this spring, after the old headquarters along the San Diego (405) Freeway is demolished.

The proposed $150 million investment marks the company’s largest commitment to an office building.

“This new national headquarters represents Hyundai’s vision for the future and reflects the innovation and creativity that our brand has come to represent,” said Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik.

Designed by San Francisco-based architecture firm Gensler, the proposed 419,000-square-foot, six-story headquarters will be built to LEED Gold certification standards.

A one-story, 50,000 square-foot technical services facility will connect to the main building. An adjacent parking structure will also be built on-site.

The technical services facility will be designed as “sleek and modern, yet classic,” in the company’s words, and built on a structural pedestal foundation with floating, translucent glass floors above.

The building’s focal point will be its two-story entrance, which will lead to an open-ceiling courtyard in the building’s center. A showroom of Hyundai vehicles will be visible from the side facing the freeway.

Construction is expected to wrap by the fall of 2013.

Volkswagen Certifies Two Facilities

Volkswagen has earned LEED Platinum certification for two new facilities — the Volkswagen Assembly Plant and the Volkswagen Academy — in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The company hired St. Louis, Mo.-based sustainability consulting firm Vertegy to help deisgn and build the facilities.

The Volkswagen Assembly Plant — home to the manufacturing base for the Volkswagen Passat, a body shop, administrative offices, a paint shop and a technology center — earned 52 points out of 60 for LEED certification. Nearly half of the materials used to build it were manufactured with recycled content, and 78 percent of its construction and demolition waste was salvaged or recycled.

The plant is designed to save more than 3 million gallons of potable water each year, thanks to low-flow water closets and urinals, harvested rainwater from its roof collected for use in the sanitary waste system, low-flow showers, and bathroom and kitchen faucets.

The building also features a white reflective roofing material that reflects heat, lowers cooling costs and saves energy. In addition, its exterior lights are kept low to prevent light from spilling into the night sky and creating excessive glare.

The Volkswagen Academy, a training center for the automotive plant, earned 54 points out of 60 for Platinum certification. Sixty-five percent of its waste materials were recycled or salvaged, 44 percent of its materials were obtained locally and 49 percent of them were made from recycled materials.

The building includes day lighting and individual temperature control to manage energy costs.

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