Corporate communications office earns LEED certification

December 31, 2012

Kohler Co.'s new corporate communications office has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the U.S. Green Building Council. Located at the Village of Kohler headquarters, the building has achieved LEED Gold certification for its sustainable characteristics.

Sheboygan Press Media reports that the one-story 79,000-square-foot-building opened in June 2012. It now houses 180 corporate communications employees in an open-workspace layout to promote unity between workers. Another 32,300-square-foot-space is dedicated to a photo and video editing studio in the building.

The energy-efficient building includes several sustainable features. Green characteristics like low- or –no-VOC emitting paint flooring systems or interior attributes, such as energy-efficient cooling, heating and lighting systems, water efficient plumbing system, natural landscaping and all of the building's materials were either gathered or manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the structure, are included in the building.

"We paid special attention to every element that went into this building, always considering how we could add more environmental details with every decision," said Mike Andrews, Senior Staff Project Manager, whose design team worked closely with Gensler, a Chicago-based architectural firm specializing in sustainable building design.

According to the organization, this is the second LEED Gold certified building the company has constructed. In addition, Kohler has a LEED-Silver certified building that is used for operations and maintenance of other company buildings.

Sustainable construction practices are increasingly becoming important to the organization's brand image. Management is focused on promoting green-energy practices in a variety of ways throughout the company.

"This achievement really speaks to the fact that this isn't a one-time deal for Kohler Co., but shows our long-time commitment to the environment. It won't be our last," said Joe Azzarello, Senior Staff Engineer – Sustainability and LEED Faculty at Kohler Co.

Throughout the country, new organizations and agencies are focusing on promoting sustainable building.  In Pennsylvania, the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) is working with organizations dedicated to building within the state to promote smart construction and maintenance practices. EEB Hub is looking to help support building green commercial structures within Pennsylvania.

As organizations learn that sustainable structures often have a positive impact on the bottom line after the initiative investment is made, more companies will begin to contact agencies focused on promoting green building.