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Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant earns LEED Platinum

Judith Webb, chief marketing officer of US Green Building Council, presents platinum certificates to Volkswagen executives. 

Volkswagen's Chattanooga manufacturing plant has received a platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building certification program. 

The facility is the first automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive Platinum certification, the program's highest level.

"Volkswagen Chattanooga's LEED Platinum certification is the fulfillment of a promise that Volkswagen has made around the world and in this community that we will work in harmony with the environment," said Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga.

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The Volkswagen Academy, where the company trains new employees, was also certified as a Platinum LEED facility. 

Our commitment to building a LEED certified factory began in the planning and design stages," Fischer said, "I believe that this not only helped insure that we would achieve Platinum status, but was actually a very cost effective way to implement environmentally responsible building methods," he said.

The company says its clean paint shop alone will save 50 million gallons of water in ten years.

Other features of the plant include:
--Insulation provided by six inches of mineral rock wool, resulting in 720,000 Kilowatts per year savings.
--Green power from the local hydroelectric dam
--Use of LED lighting on the exterior results in 68% less energy used, up to 262,500 kWh per year and a reduction in light pollution.
--Rainwater collected and reused to flush toilets and cool the welding machines
--White roof membrane is highly reflective, minimizing heat island effect by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
--Natural flowing creeks to capture heavy rains and restore a natural habitat
--Low-flow water fixtures and no-touch sensors throughout the plant reduce water usage by 30%.

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