Friday, 10 July 2015 19:59

Two FCA Michigan Manufacturing Facilities Recognized with Highest Environmental Award

Two Michigan automotive manufacturing facilities are recipients of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Green Building System certification. For meeting the highest environmental standards, LEED designations were given to the FCA US Sterling Heights Assembly Plant (SHAP) body shop and the ZF Axle Drives Marysville plant, operating in partnership with ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

“The SHAP body shop and Marysville Axle Plant were designed and constructed to be leaders in sustainability and in the preservation of the environment,” said Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America. “From the start, this was the primary objective of both designs. Our goal was to achieve the highest LEED rating possible based on the challenges of each project and building site. We are proud to once again be recognized for our commitment to having a positive impact on the health of our employees and a minimal impact on the environment.”

LEED, administered by the United States Green Building Council, is a comprehensive system to define, measure and validate green buildings. Certification in the national recognition program is based on strict standards in five key areas: site planning, water management, energy, material use and indoor environmental quality. Based on the number of points awarded in each category, a project can achieve a LEED certified silver, gold or platinum status.

In addition to the SHAP body shop and ZF Axle Drives Marysville, two other FCA US facilities have been LEED Gold certified – the body shop at the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois and the Trenton South Engine Plant in Michigan. Trenton, which builds the Pentastar V-6 engine, was one of only four automotive manufacturing facilities to receive a LEED rating of any kind and the only engine manufacturing facility in the world to achieve the honor when it was announced in March 2010. Belvidere was awarded LEED in 2014 and builds the Dodge Dart, Jeep® Compass and Jeep Patriot.

SHAP’s All-New Body Shop

FCA US invested $165 million to construct the all-new one million square-foot body shop on the site of the existing assembly plant to produce the 2015 Chrysler 200. It includes 960,000 square feet of manufacturing space, a 33,000 square-foot Metrology Lab, plus office space, and mechanical and electrical equipment rooms.

The materials used in the construction of the body shop contained about 41 percent recycled content, which reduced the environmental impact from extracting and processing virgin materials. Additionally, 57 percent of the materials was sourced and manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the project site. To help promote sustainable forestry, 95 percent of the wood materials on site was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Nearly 99 percent of the waste generated during construction – about 43,920 tons – was recycled and diverted from landfills. This included reusing the asphalt pavement from existing roadways and parking areas as building base materials. Collection areas were subsequently established for recycling items such as paper, corrugated boxes, glass, plastics, light bulbs, batteries and electronic equipment.

The heat-island effect, the higher-temperature “dome” created over an industrial area by hot air layers forming at building tops, was minimized by utilizing a highly reflective “white roof” and light-colored pavement hardscapes. The Company also selected exterior lighting fixtures to reduce power density and nighttime light pollution.

Potable water use for the new building was reduced 27 percent by incorporating water-saving plumbing fixtures, resulting in a savings of more than 114,150 gallons per year or about what 285 families of four would use in one day.

Water used for landscaping and lawn areas was reduced by another 495,000 gallons per year by carefully selecting native plant species and implementing intelligent irrigation strategies, increasing total water savings to more than 600,000 gallons per year.

Energy use at the new body shop was substantially reduced across the board with total savings amounting to nearly $2.5 million per year or the equivalent of the energy used by 1,576 homes per year.

This included a:   

  • 64 percent savings from the reduction in interior lighting intensity
  • 61 percent savings in heating due to a combination of improved roof and wall insulation, greater efficiency of heating equipment and the application of variable speed drives on the supply fan units

Overall savings in cooling were achieved utilizing a centralized chilled water system. Savings were also measured from the use of air economizers, CO2 monitoring and variable air volume fan drives and terminal air distribution boxes.

Much attention was paid to maintaining the highest indoor environmental quality in the new body shop as well. The Building Management System (BMS) allows lighting to be controlled by zones, giving occupants in different areas the flexibility to adjust lighting levels to match their needs. The BMS also controls main building systems, such as HVAC and the weld water system, around building occupancy schedules to optimize energy usage. Air monitoring systems were also installed to ensure that ventilation systems are operating at optimal levels.

During construction, care was taken to choose materials that were low VOC products to reduce the quantity of air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to building occupants. Additionally, about 96 percent of occupied areas have a direct line of site to exterior windows.

To further awareness of LEED, the Company is creating a LEED education program for employees and visitors to introduce them to the program. It will include a trifold brochure and a graphic of the building floor plan.

The SHAP LEED Gold certified project was led by the FCA US Manufacturing Engineering Building Group with assistance from the architect/engineering firm NSA Architects, Engineers, Planners of Farmington Hills, Mich., and the construction management firm Walbridge of Detroit.

ZF Axle Drives Marysville

In 2008, the former Chrysler LLC and ZF announced a partnership to produce state-of-the-art axles in a new 700,000 square-foot Chrysler-owned building in Marysville, MI. Production began in 2010. Since then, ZF Axle Drives Marysville has produced more than 3.5 million axles for the Ram Truck, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, offering significant fuel economy improvement for consumers.

When the building was constructed, 52 percent recycled material and 82 percent regional material, harvested or manufactured within 500 miles of the project site, were used, far exceeding LEED requirements. At the end of the project, a total of 1,537 tons – or 83 percent – of construction debris was recycled through a construction waste recycling program.Through green design and construction techniques, ZF Axle Drives Marysville was able to achieve a 33 percent reduction in energy use, attained through several methods including decreasing interior lighting use by 60 percent and increasing overall building insulation in the roofing, walls and windows. From top to bottom, additional energy reduction was achieved by constructing a highly reflective roof to minimize building heat island effect, and also by including concrete in more than 54 percent of pavement materials to minimize surface pavement heat island effect. Also to increase energy reduction, a building management system was installed to control the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and lighting, and to maintain scheduling for equipment and energy usage.

A total of 153 out of 211 acres of the Marysville site was restored and protected through a comprehensive site restoration plan that included removing invasive species and replacing them with native prairie grasses and wildflowers. Additionally, approximately 80 percent of the property was undisturbed and left as open space.

Potable water use was reduced by 685,000 gallons per year with the installation of low-flow and dual-flush plumbing fixtures, in addition to eliminating all potable water for irrigation needs by installing a pumping system to facilitate the use of pond water.

Employee well-being was taken into account by installing carbon dioxide sensors and MERV 13 filters, all while ensuring overall HVAC design. “MERV”, or minimum efficiency reporting value, is a measurement scale reporting the effectiveness of air filters. The MERV rating is from 1 to 20, with the higher ratings corresponding to a greater percentage of particles captured. A rating of 20 meets standards for a pharmaceutical manufacturing cleanroom.

The ZF Axle Drives Marysville LEED Gold certified project was led by the FCA US Manufacturing Engineering Building Group with assistance from the construction management firm Walbridge of Detroit.

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