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November 23, 2020

LEED for the Industrial Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing and Green are not two words that have historically been used in the same sentence, but the times they are a-changing and now more than ever manufacturing plants are choosing to be LEED certified.  In 2016, it was reported that more than 1,113 manufacturing facilities had obtained some degree of LEED Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Common Misconceptions

“It is too Expensive to become LEED Certified”

Unfortunately, sustainability initiatives often get value-engineered out of a design or construction project under the assumption that they are not worth the upfront investment. This is simply not true. 

LEED Certification and Commissioning only cost an average of $0.50 a square foot.  A typical 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility spends annually over $500,0000 dollars on energy costs.  During the LEED consulting process, there is ample opportunity to identify energy conservation measures that will lead to a healthy return on investment.

Other savings can be realized, from reduced recruiting costs and better employee retention.  In an industry faced with a rapidly declining workforce pool, the opportunity to work in an environmentally friendlier facility is a competitive advantage when recruiting younger employees just entering the workforce.

“LEED won’t work at my facility”

Did you know the USGBC has an entire committee dedicated to industrial facilities? Established in 2012, they are known as the “LEED User Group: Industrial Facilities (LUGIF)”.  Their main goal is to create avenues for industrial operations to gain LEED certification because there is a perception that manufacturing facilities are not capable of achieving LEED standards.

LUGIF has presented what is known as Alternative Compliance Paths (ACPs) to the Technical Advisory Committees, and several of these alternatives have been approved for manufacturing facilities.  These alternative paths have made it easier for manufacturing plants to become LEED certified. In the long run, LEED is centered around the human experience, and enabling these facility improvements will reduce the use of natural resources and better the environment for future generations.

What Type of Commissioning is right for your Facility?

There are three different rating systems that pertain to the industrial world in which a building can obtain LEED certification. They include Building Design and Construction (BD+C), Operations and Maintenance (O+M), and Interior design and Construction (ID+C). There are also four different commissioning types and two versions of the commissioning process.

With these decisions, it can seem like a difficult task to even begin a LEED Commissioning project for your facility.  However, with the right partner, this process is not stressful.  C1S has been LEED Certifying and Commissioning industrial facilities since 2012. We understand that you have a job to do, and that job does not include the work that goes into this process.  Before C1S begins a new LEED certification project, we always start with a feasibility study to learn right away if your building is a good fit and to avoid wasting any time or money. 

A Look at C1S LEED Commissioning Through the Ages

PepsiCo North American Headquarters

In 2010, PepsiCo began discussions of a complete renovation of their 440,000 square foot headquarters building in Purchase, New York. PepsiCo desired to have the building LEED certified and C1S was initially contracted to evaluate the best LEED Rating System for the project. Ultimately, we provided LEED project administration, and consulting services for a Platinum level LEED 2009 Existing Buildings Certification.

Services included LEED certification submittal preparation, water reduction calculations, energy usage tracking, ongoing commissioning plan development, construction material submittal review, ASHRAE 62.1 calculations, indoor air quality plan development, and green cleaning program development.

Toyota North American Headquarters

C1S provided Enhanced Commissioning services for the Platinum level LEED 2009 for New Construction BD+C project at the Toyota North American Headquarters in Plano, Texas. The Toyota North American Headquarters is a complex of six interconnected office towers as well as the Toyota Quality Control Center totaling over 2 million square feet. Services included systems manual development, operations and maintenance training verification, and commissioning LEED submittal preparation and submission.

More Projects

EPA Region 6 Office

Independent Bank New Headquarters


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