Environmental Awareness Plays Key Role in One Company's New Facility
July 16, 2009
Green. Energy-efficient. Sustainable. It's not uncommon these days
to hear about companies manufacturing and selling products designed
to be environmentally friendly. Some companies have even taken another
step forward and are now operating out of facilities that, like
the products they produce, are also green. Such is the case for
Solar Innovations Inc., a custom manufacturer of a variety of products
including commercial and residential folding, tilting and sliding
glass doors, walls and windows, which moved into a new facility
one month ago in Pine Grove, Pa., about 15 miles north of its previous
location in Myerstown.
need for more space and a better facility layout drove the decision,"
Greg Header, president of Solar Innovations, tells USGNN.com.
Header says the facility's layout will help increase efficiencies,
and space has been planned for new product lines and the equipment
necessary to support them. The new location also has an internal
test lab, a better flow for job processes and an overall attention
to environmental factors.
The new facility is more than 206,000 square feet-three times the
size of the previous facility. But even beyond its size, the new
operations are a result of more than two years of research, design
and building efforts that would help create an environmentally conscious
facility. In fact, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) standards were taken into consideration as part of the design
process. Upon its initial review the new facility is expected to
earn Gold Level LEED Certification, though the company hopes to
achieve Platinum Level Certification in the upcoming months.
Several LEED objectives were incorporated into the design of the
new building. For example, the building was oriented to view the
natural environment. Other features include a roof prepared for
photovoltaic panels; preferred parking for energy-efficient and
carpool vehicles; bike racks; refurbished furniture; a windmill
to generate energy; a cistern to collect rain water; CFL light bulbs;
a complete recycling program; and bio-retention basins to filter
and treat storm water run-off.
And despite these challenging economic times, Header says the move
was still an important one to make as it will help improve processes,
efficiencies and drive down the costs. He explains that while everyone
needs to be conscious of the economy and what is going on in the
world, his company has grown consistently over the last eight years.
He says that by moving now while things are a bit slower they can
work on increasing market share and developing new product lines
to help prepare for when the market does turn around.
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