When suppliers relocate, energy and sustainability are key considerations

Companies’ corporate headquarters show firms’ commitment to energy efficiency.


With a glut of office and commercial space available, finding new office space at the right price is not a challenge. If you pick any major market, you'll easily locate an open office or a vacant manufacturing site.

Many companies are looking beyond the bricks and mortar to sustainable buildings as a place to start. For companies that market their own products around themes of energy efficiency and sustainability, it is especially important for those headquarters to reflect that commitment.

When Grundfos Pumps Corp. decided to relocate its corporate headquarters to the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, it was looking for a building that could take advantage of the city's transportation and economic advantages. It also wanted a facility to showcase its own philosophy about energy and material management.

In deciding to renovate the 17th floor office space of the Esplanade Office Complex for its headquarters, Grundfos officials also decided to pursue LEED for Commercial Interiors.

According to a company press release, among the features that will be incorporated into the finished space:

· Water efficiency: The office will take advantage of low-flow fixtures to reduce water consumption by at least 20% in the café area.

· Energy and atmosphere: Up to 84% of office appliances will be U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star-approved and none of the HVAC equipment will use chlorofluorocarbon-based refrigerants. The office will also optimize energy performance by reducing power lighting density by up to 35% below industry standards and by using occupancy sensors in at least 75% of lighting to prevent empty rooms from wasting energy.

· Materials and resources: The headquarters will feature an area dedicated to the collection and storage of recyclable materials and up to 75% of construction waste will be diverted to recycling facilities rather than landfills. Furthermore, the office's furniture, carpet, ceiling tiles, and other materials will feature at least 20% recycled content.

· Indoor environmental quality: The office will exceed industry ventilation requirements by a minimum of 30%. Adhesives, sealants, paintings, coatings, and flooring systems will use materials with low volatile organic compounds. The design takes advantage of daylight and views while maintaining comfortable temperatures.

Beckhoff Automation LLC is another global manufacturer with a strong growth plan and a new business complex in Savage, Minn. The 44,500-sq-ft facility combines office and warehouse space, tripling the size of its former space for warehouse, general office, and a repair center.

The new Beckhoff headquarters also will use the company's own hardware and software systems for heating, cooling, and ventilation.

"Daylight harvesting to set light levels is a major part of the system and the external environment is used for heating/cooling whenever possible," Beckhoff officials said in a press release. "The Beckhoff control platform easily communicates with the wide variety of devices used in today's intelligent buildings."

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