Friday, September 22, 2017

Toyota wins big in Texas with Green Energy

Toyota Motor North America’s (TMNA) headquarters campus in Plano, Texas has officially achieved LEED Platinum from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Jonathan Kraatz, executive director, USGBC Texas Chapter, presented the prized Platinum plaque to Jim Lentz, TMNA president and chief executive officer, today at the new campus. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Toyota’s new campus is the largest commercial LEED Platinum project in the state of Texas, to date.

Toyota Motor North America achieved LEED Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for green building techniques, such as sustainable landscaping. The 8.79-megawatt solar power system produces enough energy to power 1,200 homes per year and provides up to 33 percent of daily electric needs for the Plano campus.

“At Toyota, we have a longstanding commitment to sustainability and preserving our natural resources,” said Lentz. “With the installation of greenspaces, thousands of solar panels, a massive rain water capture system, and natural light wells, we have designed our new headquarters to reflect the local habitat and enhance its biodiversity. Recognition as a LEED Platinum facility is a testament of our efforts to become a model for energy efficiency and sustainability, and speaks to our challenge to ourselves to create a net positive impact on the planet by 2050.”

“USGBC is proud to award LEED Platinum to Toyota, for their thoughtfulness in their campus energy planning and space design as well as the overall net positive impact on the community and environment,” said Kraatz. “Our mission at USGBC has challenged organizations to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Toyota’s new Texas campus is a great example of what can be accomplished with the right leadership.”

TMNA CEO Jim Lentz (right) receives the LEED Platinum Certification from Jonathan Kraatz (left), executive director, Dallas chapter, U.S. Green Building Council, for green building techniques on September 21, 2017.

The state-of-the-art, 100-acre campus boasts a Platinum-sized list of sustainability aspects, from renewable energy to drought resistant landscaping: 

Renewable Energy
Largest onsite corporate solar installation among non-utility companies in Texas
8.79-Megawatt solar power system, designed and installed by SunPower Corp.
Produces up to 33 percent of daily electric needs for headquarters campus
Reduces annual carbon dioxide emissions by 7,198 metric tons
Creates enough energy to power 1,200 average US homes for a year
Installation of high efficiency lighting and building envelopes to reduce energy usage on campus
Specialized rooftop design teeming with plant life to manage rainwater, reduce heat and further insulate the buildings
Flexible energy contract to preserve and resell excess power generation back to the grid
Grid energy offset by Texas wind farm renewable energy credits
Repurposed Rainwater
State-of-the-art rainwater capture system will provide up to three months of water supply for irrigation use
Cistern water storage with a capacity to hold 400,000 gallons of harvested rain water
Estimated to save more than 11 million gallons of potable (drinking) water annually
Excess drain water will be collected and repurposed for sanitary facility use
More than 99 percent of the construction waste was recycled
Construction waste was sorted offsite at North Texas’ first Construction and Demolition waste processing facility

Sustainable Landscaping
Exterior landscaping features drought-tolerant, North Texas indigenous plants like savannah, oaklands and wildflower meadows
Campus landscape will provide a natural habitat for endangered pollinators and monarch butterflies
Approximately 1,300 trees planted onsite by Toyota
More than 80 mature trees saved or relocated onsite, including a 100-year-old oak tree
Landscaping will be managed without expensive mowing, fertilizers, chemicals or artificial irrigation
Historic wetlands on the northeast corner of the campus were preserved to protect its natural state
Professionals who led this project include a host of Dallas-based firms: KDC Real Estate Development & Investments to develop and build the campus, architect Corgan Associates to design the campus, and Austin Commercial to manage the construction.

Tosan Aduayi, a motoring journalist since 1994, is the founder and publisher of Trendy Africa Magazine and has reported on Motoring with trademark columns (Roadrunner, Carliners). He is also the founder of Flowtran global.