LEED™, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a voluntary standard for the design of sustainable facilities sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council. Earning LEED™ certification – especially at the Gold level – means a business is extremely serious about safeguarding the environment.
The lengthy LEED™ certification process rates buildings in six major categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, construction materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design processes. Honda of America received a Gold LEED™ Award for their Central Utility Building, the utility plant providing power throughout the Honda campus in Raymond, Ohio.
Since Honda R&D Americas Inc. develops innovative technologies in environmental protection, performance and safety, its buildings utilize the latest “green” technologies as well. The award-winning structure, known as Building 10 on Honda R&D’s Central Ohio campus, supplements the original utility plant providing power now and into the future while meeting the goal of providing an energy-efficient utility operation within an energy-efficient building.
SSOE designed this 15,000 square foot building which features cutting-edge measures to best utilize natural resources and improve energy efficiency, including:
- Biodiesel fuel produced from plants as an alternative fuel source. Non-polluting biodiesel fuel powers the building’s emergency generator and serves as a test case for converting from conventional diesel to biodiesel in all of the facility’s diesel-generated emergency machinery. Biodiesel fuel use helps Honda reduce CO² emissions.
- Building materials partially made of recycled products, along with regionally manufactured building materials and masonry supplies extracted within a 500-mile radius. Using such materials reduces the environmental impacts from producing and delivering building materials.
- A reflective roofing system to decrease solar heat absorption.
- Rainwater collection and recycling for flushing toilets.
- Ice storage fueling a chilled water system which also utilizes recycled water, off-peak energy demand and an HCFC-free refrigerant.
“The new technologies used in Building 10 are working well and bringing about the energy savings we expected,” adds Ron Guiliani, Project Manager for SSOE. “Honda as a company is extremely environmentally conscientious and interested in new technologies with LEED™-certified structures in other locations. However, Building 10 was even more challenging because it involved utility operations, not the more typical corporate office or university structures generally completed through LEED™.”
Since 1990, SSOE has designed more than a million square feet of buildings on Honda R&D’s Raymond campus. “SSOE has been involved with the design and engineering of the entire site, including designing the tracks where cars are tested. We’ve added a building nearly every year,” notes Ron. “It’s exciting to be part of the Honda R&D campus. The people at Honda are absolutely great to work with.”