SAN ANTONIO, Texas, November 8, 2023 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, is proud to announce their involvement in the successful LEED® certification of Continental AG’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in New Braunfels, Texas. Continental AG was recently awarded Gold certification for this facility, the second highest designation possible from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program. The client received LEED Gold certification under the LEED BD+C: New Construction – LEED v4 rating system.
SSOE successfully performed engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) services for this new 215,000 SF manufacturing facility. The plant manufactures products for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that help with assisted and automated driving. The new future-oriented greenfield campus includes a production facility, office space, warehouse, guard shack, technical building, and cafeteria. The project also includes campus infrastructure, integral roads, parking, truck docks, and other site requirements. The innovative, edgy design of the facility integrates with its environmental surroundings and fits the needs of a modern-world production environment.
The project conducted early-stage energy modeling, evaluating mechanical systems, and analyzing energy efficiency features resulting in a 12% energy savings compared to conventional approaches. The facility prioritized a detailed LCA approach to key materials, resulting in substantial embodied carbon savings. This commitment to responsible material sourcing reduced the overall embodied carbon by over 10% and the greenhouse gas emissions by over 16%. By opting for native or xeriscape landscaping, savings of approximately $246,800 are expected over a 20-year lifecycle. This also contributes to water conservation efforts. Rainwater capture and reuse were analyzed for toilet and urinal flushing to reduce municipal supply and reduced potable water use by over 60%. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, measures to enhance Indoor Environmental Quality through health-conscious strategies were implemented. Design considerations accommodate active occupants and promote well-being. High-quality lighting and controls promote productivity, well-being, and comfort.
“The successful completion of our latest LEED Gold standard Production Facility in New Braunfels together with our EPCM partner SSOE, marks another milestone towards our vision creating value to our business, employees, and the community by sustainable building solutions,” stated Alexander Brueckner, Head of Continental Automotive Building Solutions.
SSOE’s Jennifer Breault, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, Architect and Chair of the firm’s Sustainable Design Strategy Group, stated, “The Continental New Braunfels facility serves as an exemplary model of how energy-intensive manufacturing facilities can successfully reduce both operational and embodied carbon, implement water conservation strategies, and provide a safe, healthy environment for building occupants, while supporting electrification of the mobility sector.”
SSOE’s experience completing more than $1 billion in LEED-certified facilities and their vast network of LEED Accredited Professionals helped them formulate a design strategy that fulfilled Continental’s sustainability needs and expectations. While Continental is one of SSOE’s most recent recipients of LEED certification, they have also assisted other clients with LEED certification including Volkswagen Chattanooga’s LEED Platinum Automotive Manufacturing Plant, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ LEED Platinum Net Zero Energy Warehouse and Distribution Center, Bimbo Bakeries’ LEED Silver Bakery and Distribution Center, the National Nuclear Security Administration‘s LEED Gold National Security Campus, among dozens of others. SSOE’s portfolio also includes projects that are the “first” in LEED, such as the first LEED Platinum automotive manufacturing plant in the world, the first Platinum industrial campus in the U.S., the largest Platinum project in the U.S., and the first Gold LEED certified central utility plant in the U.S.
To achieve LEED certification, a project earns points by adhering to prerequisites and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, and indoor environmental quality. Projects go through a verification and review process by Green Business Certification Inc. and are awarded points that correspond to a level of LEED certification: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points) and Platinum (80+ points).