The United States Green Building Council today presented Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) with the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification ever awarded in the state of Ohio. The 14,400 sq. ft. central plant facility in Raymond, Ohio supplies the multi-building HRA Ohio Center with highly efficient utilities and has several innovative sustainable concepts incorporated into the construction and operation of the facility.
Honda’s facility uses water and energy conservation systems as well as emissions reducing tactics. One application that helped the building achieve Gold certification is an air conditioning system that generates cool air using an ice chilling system that is a more efficient and less costly, and has the capacity to cool additional buildings in the future. In addition to energy-savings, the central plant employs emissions-reducing tactics. The emergency generator, for example, is operated using bio-diesel, a plant-based renewable fuel source, which reduces emissions up to 75 percent when compared to mineral-based diesel.
“Every year we introduce new Honda and Acura models that are designed and engineered to reduce emissions and fuel consumption and to eliminate waste in the production process,” said Hirohide Ikeno, president of Honda R&D Americas. “Building green facilities is another important part of Honda’s environmental commitment and our effort to be a company that society wants to exist.”
HRA announced March 27th 2006, that it will build a new Acura Design Studio in Torrance, California. This facility will also be constructed as a certified green facility.
U.S. Green Building Council and LEED
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to advance buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work.
Driving its mission to transform the built environment is the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating Systems™, which is now accessible online, and supported by a robust LEED Workshop program and LEED Professional Accreditation™ program. The LEED Green Building Rating System is a voluntary building certification program that defines high-performance green buildings, which are more environmentally responsible, healthier, and more profitable structures. LEED serves as a design guideline for green building and offers third party validation of a building’s green features. LEED evaluates buildings in areas: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality. Within these credit areas, points are available and depending on the number of points a project earns determines the level of certification the building will be awarded. There are four progressive levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Honda R&D Americas
Honda R&D Americas began its operations in the United States in 1975 with local market research activities and has steadily grown its capabilities over the past 30 years to include all aspects of new vehicle design and development. Recent development efforts include trend-setting products like the Acura MDX and TL sedan, Honda Ridgeline, Pilot and Element, and the all-new Civic Coupe and Civic Si.
The company operates 10 major facilities in North America with more than 1,300 designers, engineers and support personnel engaged in the development of Honda and Acura passenger cars, motorcycles and power equipment products for North America and global markets. Its main centers of operation include the Los Angeles Center (Torrance, CA) responsible for market research, concept development and styling design; the Ohio Center (Raymond, OH) responsible for complete product development, testing and support of North American supplier and manufacturing operations; and two dynamic test facilities in Cantil, California, and East Liberty, Ohio. Power equipment R&D is conducted at the North Carolina Center in Haw River, NC.