2011 marked the year for Volkswagen to expand and solidify their presence in the United States with their brand new production plant in Chattanooga,Tennessee and while most people wouldn’t initially envision a car manufacturing plant as an eco-friendly site, the brains behind VW have made this a top priority in developing their new facility.
The company hopes that this new presence within theUnited States will not only spread their presence within our country but also invest in the community that is housing the facility and its natural resources. Volkswagen’s longstanding commitment to sustainable mobility and emphasis on responsible manufacturing practices is clearly evident in their new facility. Not only will their new vehicles be designed to run cleaner and more efficiently, but their actual manufacturing processes are cleaner as well.
Before building even begins, Volkswagen assesses the community and building area to ensure that the area has no unique or sensitive ecosystems. Then, once the location has been chosen, they ensure that the building take place with minimal environmental impact. Since construction began in 2009, Volkswagen has taken great measures to make its new plant one of the world’s most advanced and environmentally sound automobile plants and falls in line with the highest requirements of the U.S. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standard, which lays down stringent provisions for the sustainable, environmentally compatible construction of buildings.
One of the key measures taken is the use of a painting process without any filler, which reduces CO2 emissions by about 20 percent. Water efficiency at the plant also meets the most exacting standards and the company has built the world’s first automobile paint shop to use a waterless separation process for topcoat application.
Thanks to the use of collected rainwater, water consumption at the Chattanooga plant is also considerably lower than other facilities of a comparable size. In addition, theU.S.plant relys entirely on energy-saving LED systems for outdoor lighting. The production buildings and offices are also equipped only with energy-saving lamps controlled by motion sensors. The entire lighting system of the plant uses some 20 percent less energy than a comparable facility.
As the world’s third largest auto manufacturer it seems that the folks at VW are seeing how their practices can be adjusted and improved to affect their overall impact on the environment. These practices can be seen in everything from their production lines to their numerous car makes and models being driven around the world. With their commitment to eco-friendly practices already solidly developed, it will be exciting to see what new innovations they create to continue their efforts in environmental responsibility.
Click below to see some great views of this eco-conscious new manufacturing plant!