3.05.2008

Creating a Lean and Green Building

I don’t write many postings based on news releases about things that haven’t happened yet, but here’s one I couldn’t resist: Plans for construction of a manufacturing facility that is both lean and green.

HelioVolt, which makes solar products such as glass and roofing products as well as photovoltaic cells, has announced plans to renovate a facility in Austin.

The project is being developed by a team of two companies:
TAG International, an architecture and land development services firm, and Harvey-Cleary Builders. TAG issued a news release about the project.

According to Dave Bowen, HelioVolt's vice president of manufacturing operations, the TAG/Harvey-Cleary team was selected from a competitive pool of design/build teams due to the flexibility in responding to HelioVolt's innovative processes, as well as TAG's in-depth experience designing specialized manufacturing facilities.

TAG's long standing interest in sustainable design and lean manufacturing expertise enables a beneficial exchange of ideas and concepts between the TAG design team and HelioVolt. In addition to TAG and Harvey-Cleary, the project design team includes EEA Engineering, whose expertise in energy efficient HVAC and electrical design will play an integral role in the project…


TAG will submit the HelioVolt project to the US Green Building Council for LEED Silver Certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a third-party certification designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional and high-rise residential buildings. Austin was the first US city to require municipal buildings to seek LEED certification, and many private sector companies are now seeking LEED certification for their facilities.

In designing the HelioVolt facility, TAG will incorporate a variety of green concepts including energy efficient lighting, water usage reduction, the reuse of an existing building, construction waste management, storm water management, and energy efficient HVAC systems using enhanced refrigerant management.

TAG's design utilizes building materials with high recycled content and low VOC emissions, as well as regionally available materials. HelioVolt will encourage employees to use alternative transportation methods by providing access to public transportation, and offering bicycle storage and changing rooms at the new facility.

I’ve said before that strategies for lean and for sustainability fit well together. It’s nice to see some companies pursuing them jointly.

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