Did you know that Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant is the first and only Certified Leed Platinum automotive plant in the world?
During construction, Volkswagen was able to salvage or recycle nearly 78 percent (4,602 tons) of construction and demolition waste, and 48 percent of total building materials were manufactured using recycled materials. The rooftop was constructed with a unique white, reflective material to help reflect heat, lowering cooling costs and saving energy. They also designed a rooftop rainwater collection system that allows the plant to repurpose rainwater for cooling the welding robots and the plant’s sanitary waste system. The exterior lighting was also created to operate at minimum requirements to ensure that it doesn’t adversely affect surrounding wildlife.
Within the plant, VW designed a revolutionary green paint shop! The process utilizes a new eco-friendly technology that uses a waterborne base coat on the vehicles. This is better for the environment because it incorporates the primer in the painting process, which eliminates an entire oven-baking session. This technology also cuts back on production hours and more importantly, reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 20 percent.
Volkswagen didn’t just stop at the manufacturing plant itself, they also created a unique Solar Park adjacent to the factory. It contains 33,600 solar modules that produce more than 12 percent of the plant’s energy requirements during full production and 100 percent during non-production periods. Although the Solar Park utilizes a portion of the landscape, Volkswagen made a huge commitment to restore the wetlands surrounding the plant. Sadly, this precious environmental greenspace was seriously neglected by the former landowners. Since its revitalization, Volkswagen has expanded the area from its original 40 acres to more than 88 acres.