Volkswagen is known for manufacturing fuel efficient cars, like the VW Passat, so it makes sense that VW builds them in an energy efficient factory. VW’s new $1 Billion manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the world’s first and only LEED certified green auto manufacturing plant.
Volkswagen saves both money and the environment with this green design, which is a model for eco-friendly, sustainable factory designs anywhere in the world —
- The high-tech paint shop will save more than 50 million gallons of water a year, and reduces CO2 emissions by about 20 percent,
- The construction team salvaged or recycled nearly 78 percent (4,602 tons) of construction and demolition waste,
- 48 percent of total building materials were manufactured using recycled materials,
- A white, reflective roofing material on 100 percent of the roof reflects heat, lowering cooling costs and saving energy,
- The VW factory plant harvests rainwater from its roof for use in the sanitary waste system, saving more than 1.7 million gallons of fresh water each year,
- A total of 3 million gallons of water is saved each year via low-flow showers, toilets and kitchen faucets throughout the factory,
- There are bike racks for visitors and employees, and preferred close-in parking for those driving fuel-efficient vehicles and for those who carpool to the site.
“Think Blue is Volkswagen’s commitment to reach the highest level of environmental protection and corporate social responsibility in everything we do. It was this commitment that drove the team to strive toward designing, constructing, and applying for LEED accreditation. Being the first automotive plant worldwide to receive a Platinum certification is an enormous accomplishment,” said Dr. Jan Spies, Head of Factory Planning, Volkswagen AG.
The LEED Certified VW factory in Cattanooga, Tennessee, opened in May, 2011. On February 7, 2012, it reached another milestone — producing the 50,000th Passat. The 2012 VW Passat is top-rated for both price and fuel economy. With a base price of just under $20,000, the 2012 VW Passat is a true ecoXplorer, rated at 43MPG for the TDI clean diesel version.
- Click here for my review of the 2012 VW Beetle, an ecoXplorer best buy under $20,000.
- Click here for more ecoXplorer best cars under $20,000.