BENTON HARBOR (WWJ) — Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) earned a pair of environmental awards last week.
First, Whirlpool received the Innovative Star award from the Alliance to Save Energy during the Star of Energy Efficiency awards reception last week at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
Also, Whirlpool’s new manufacturing plant in Cleveland, Tenn. won Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold status from the United States Green Building Council.
Star of Energy Efficiency awards are given to individuals, organizations, companies, learning institutions and government programs that have demonstrated a significant and tangible commitment to the cause of energy efficiency both in the United States and abroad. Whirlpool Corporation was named the 2013 Innovative Star award recipient for introducing a new line of Smart Grid home appliances that will provide technology to help consumers avoid peak energy use times, maximize energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.
Smart Grid appliances are a viable approach to cutting peak energy demand and improving the reliability of the electrical grid. Smart appliances are able to automatically modify energy consumption to avoid peak or costly time periods, saving consumers money, whether the appliance is hooked up to a smart meter or not. Not only will consumers save money, but by leveraging the power of smartphones and tablets, consumers’ daily chores will become even easier and simpler.
As for the LEED Gold award, it covers more than 1,5 million square feet of manufacturing space, as well as a test lab and distribution center. It’s the largest cooking appliance manufacturing plant in North America.
Sustainable features and practices incorporated into the building with designer and contractor Gray Construction include:
* Minimized Heat Island Effects — Highly reflective roofing materials were installed to reduce heat island effects and increase the efficiency of the HVAC systems. High solar reflective index concrete pavement was also installed to minimize the heat island effect and eliminate the generation of greenhouse gases and pollution.
* FSC Certified Wood — Wood used in the construction of the Whirlpool facility was a level of Forest Stewardship Council certified wood. The FSC standard incorporates many criteria that contribute to long-term health and integrity of forest ecosystems, which include sustainable timber harvesting, preserving wildlife habitat and biodiversity, maintaining soil and water quality.
* Use of Low-VOC Materials — Low-volatile organic compound materials, paints and caulks were used. Off-gassing in the interior environment was significantly decreased and the building surpassed the requirements for pre-occupancy indoor air quality testing.
* Low-Flow Plumbing — To reduce the amount of water the Whirlpool project would use, Gray installed ultra-low-flow plumbing fixtures. The water usage is more than 40 percent less than a regular base line building and no potable water is used for irrigation due to the process of rainwater reuse, which helps to conserve local and regional potable water resources.
* Construction Material Recycling — Construction waste was carefully managed to recycle or reuse materials as much as possible; more than 20 percent of the materials used to construct the building were recycled.
Also, to encourage people to ride bikes, showers were installed. And in an effort to decrease vehicle emissions, 72 preferential parking spots have been designated and provided for employees driving low-emitting, fuel efficient vehicles and car poolers.
Whirlpool is the world’s leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $18 billion in 2012, 68,000 employees, and 65 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Consul, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.
More at http://www.whirlpoolcorp.com.