No. 80 . 02 January 2002 
ArchitectureWeek
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First LEED-Certified Factory

by ArchitectureWeek

A wood-furniture manufacturing facility, recently constructed by Steelcase Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has set a new standard in environmental achievement. It is the first factory to achieve certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program.

"Protecting the environment is a core value at Steelcase," says James P. Hackett, the company's chief executive officer. "And the development of this new manufacturing facility represents our commitment to promoting a healthy environment for our community."

To bring experience of environmentally conscious design to the project, Steelcase retained two LEED-certified architects, Leonardo Tombelli, AIA, and Mark Barnikow, AIA, of the URS Corporation in Grand Rapids. The work of William McDonough, lead architect on the revitalization of the Ford Motor Company's Rouge River Manufacturing Complex, also provided inspiration for the design.

An Environmental Leader

LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven, self-assessment system based on proven technologies. It is designed for evaluating new and existing commercial, institutional, and high-rise buildings. The LEED system rates a building's environmental performance from a "whole building" perspective over the building's projected life-cycle, providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a "green" building.  

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