Kohler building earns LEED Silver certification

Kohler Co. was recently awarded Silver LEED Status from the U.S. Green Building Council for its work to transform the company's Environmental, Health and Safety building into a more environmentally efficient structure.

Kohler, Wis. — Kohler Co. was recently awarded Silver LEED Status from the U.S. Green Building Council for its work to transform the company's Environmental, Health and Safety building into a more environmentally efficient structure.

“To earn Silver LEED status underscores Kohler's commitment to sustainability — from our products and services and manufacturing processes, right down to the company's very own buildings,” said Davor Grgic, senior vice president for Kohler Co. “Kohler is proud to receive this certification from the USGBC. It's important as an environmental leader to minimize the company's footprint, and this recognition builds upon Kohler's holistic approach to sustainability.”

Grgic led a team of several associates for this project, which was started 18 months ago. The building achieved LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use as well as incorporating a variety of other sustainable strategies. LEED verifies environmental performance, occupant health and financial return. LEED was established for market leaders to design and construct buildings that protect and save precious resources while also making good economic sense.

“Kohler's LEED certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The urgency of USGBC's mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Kohler serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish.”

To earn Silver LEED status, Kohler made several enhancements to the building's interior and exterior, along with installing several upgrades and monitoring devices for energy and water usage. A 50% reduction in water usage was achieved by installing new faucets and fixtures in the bathrooms, including the Kohler Steward waterless urinal. High-efficiency toilets such as the Kohler Highline 1.1-gpf were also installed, and 0.5 GPM faucets with Kohler Tripoint Touchless Technology all contributed to the significant water savings.

New landscaping around the building includes native Wisconsin plant life, which is easy to maintain and able to grow without the use of herbicides and extra potable water. A green cleaning program was developed for the building, for which environmentally friendly cleaning products are used exclusively to maintain the building. Natural lighting is utilized throughout the building, and in the areas extra light is needed, low energy, long-lasting compact fluorescent bulbs are used.

Kohler received all five points in the Innovations Category for LEED, a not-so-common achievement for a LEED-EB building (Existing Building). A unique water bottle filter and fill station helped play a role in this accomplishment. The Kohler EHS building is one of only several LEED-EB buildings in Wisconsin.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria.

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wis., Kohler Co. is one of America's oldest and largest privately held companies.

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Additional information is available at: www.usgbc.org.