FCA US Belvidere Assembly Receives Highest Environmental Award

Apr 23, 2015, 10:00 ET from FCA US LLC

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

  • LEED Gold certification awarded to new body shop at the Company's Illinois assembly plant
  • Certification recognizes achievements in five areas including water and energy
  • Energy savings equivalent to amount used in nearly 1,900 homes per year
  • Award demonstrates FCA US dedication to the environment and surrounding communities

The FCA US Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant's new body shop has been awarded a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Green Building System certification for meeting the highest environmental standards.

LEED, administered by the United States Green Building Council, is a comprehensive system to define, measure and validate green buildings. Certification in the national recognition program is based on strict standards in five key areas: site planning, water management, energy, material use and indoor environmental quality. Based on the number of points awarded in each category, a project can achieve a LEED certified silver, gold or platinum status.

"We are very proud of the Belvidere body shop's LEED certification as it reflects the Company's commitment to creating a sustainable footprint throughout our operations, including manufacturing," said Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America. "When we have the opportunity to build a new facility, our goal is to design it in a manner that will save money and resources, while having a positive impact on the health of our employees and a minimal impact on the environment."

Belvidere's new 638,000-square foot body shop was built on a brownfield site, connected to the existing assembly plant, with an investment of $700 million. The new facility was needed to accommodate the unique architecture of the Dodge Dart, the first vehicle produced highlighting the partnership between the former Chrysler Group and Fiat. Belvidere also builds the Jeep® Compass and Jeep Patriot.

When it launched in 2012, the Belvidere body shop became the benchmark for future FCA US body shops in terms of design, efficiency and flexibility.

During the building's construction, 95 percent of construction waste – about 14,681 tons – was recycled and diverted from landfills. This included reusing the concrete and asphalt pavement from roadways and parking areas as building base materials by crushing and pulverizing them on site. About 43 percent of the new building materials contained recycled content, which reduced the environmental impact from extracting and processing virgin materials.

Additionally, 57 percent of the materials was sourced and manufactured within a 500 mile radius of the project site, which not only promotes the use of local resources, but also reduces the environmental impact from transportation. To help promote sustainable forestry, 93 percent of the wood materials on site was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The facility has also established collection areas for the recycling items that include paper, corrugated boxes, glass, plastics, light bulbs, batteries and electronic equipment.

The heat-island effect, the higher-temperature "dome" created over an industrial area by hot air layers forming at building tops, on the surrounding environment was minimized by utilizing a highly reflective "white roof" and light-colored pavement hardscapes. The Company also carefully selected exterior lighting fixtures to reduce power density and nighttime light pollution.

Potable water use for the new building was reduced 22 percent by incorporating water saving plumbing fixtures, resulting in a savings of more than 61,000 gallons per year or about what 153 families of four would use in one day.

Energy usage at the new body shop was substantially reduced across the board with total savings amounting to over $3 million per year or the equivalent of the energy used by 1,872 homes per year. This included a:

  • 64 percent savings from the reduction in interior lighting intensity
  • 83 percent savings in heating due to a combination of improved roof and wall insulation, greater efficiency of heating equipment, and the application of variable speed drives on the supply fan units
  • 36 percent savings in cooling – although the body shop is not air conditioned, the savings measured included air economizers, CO2 monitoring, and variable air volume fan drives and terminal air distribution boxes

Much attention was paid to maintaining the highest indoor environmental quality in the new body shop. The Building Management System (BMS) allows lighting to be controlled by zones, giving occupants in different areas the flexibility to adjust lighting levels to match their needs. The BMS also controls main building systems, such as HVAC and the weld water system, around building occupancy schedules to optimize energy usage. Air monitoring systems were also installed to ensure that ventilation systems are operating at optimal levels.

During construction, care was taken to choose materials that were low VOC products to reduce the quantity of air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to building occupants. Additionally, about 90 percent of occupied areas have a direct line of site to exterior windows.

To further awareness of LEED, the Company is creating a LEED education program for employees and visitors to introduce them to the program, which will include a trifold brochure and a graphic of the building floor plan showing all of the significant accomplishments.

FCA US achieved the LEED Gold certification with the help of the architect/engineering firm NSA Architects, Engineers, Planners of Farmington Hills, Mich., and the construction management firm Alberici Constructors, Inc. of St. Louis, Mo.

In addition to the Belvidere body shop, the FCA US Trenton South Engine Plant is also LEED Gold certified. Trenton, which builds the acclaimed Pentastar V-6 engine, was one of only four auto manufacturing facilities to receive a LEED rating of any kind and the only engine manufacturing facility in the world to achieve the honor when it was announced in March 2010.

About FCA US LLC
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.

FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FCAU" and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol "FCA."

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SOURCE FCA US LLC



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