Ford announces massive facilities transformation, expects to cut energy use in half - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Demand Management, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, Industrial, Solar  -  April 13, 2016

Ford announces massive facilities transformation, expects to cut energy use in half

Ford Motor Co. on April 13 unveiled plans for a 10-year transformation of its more than 60-year-old Dearborn, Mich., facilities to colocate 30,000 employees from 70 buildings into primarily two campus locations. 

The new Ford buildings are expected to cut energy use in half in addition to reducing water use, and will include a new zero-waste, zero-energy, zero-water "sustainability showcase" building, which Ford said will produce more energy than it consumes. That building will include geothermal heating and cooling and solar energy, and aims to meet Living Building Challenge standards, which Ford characterized in a news release as "the highest level of sustainability possible today."  

The rest of the campus will use increased building insulation, high-performance energy systems incorporating daylighting, solar orientation, natural airflow ventilation and heat recovery, Ford said in its release. An advanced storm water management system will capture, clean and reduce storm water run-off, while a greening of the site will include more planted areas and native species, a tree canopy and natural rain retention areas.

While Ford has not given out financial details of the plans, Detroit newspapers reported an estimated price tag of $1.2 billion. 

"Just as the Rouge manufacturing renovation completed in 2003 set a new standard for sustainability, we expect to do the same as we transform our campuses into a modern, efficient complex that enhances the environment,” Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement. "This project incorporates thoughtful ways to improve the environmental footprint of our facilities, while creating a vibrant workplace that inspires our employees.”

The company anticipates all renovated facilities on both campuses will achieve at a minimum silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design process. Additionally, all new construction is planned to meet LEED Gold certification standards, including sustainable material selection and material ingredient transparency.

Beyond energy, the new campus has been designed to modernize Ford's world headquarters and other buildings into contemporary, innovative work environments for employees; highlights include sit-stand desks and outdoor cafes with WiFi. The campus will also serve as a pilot location for Ford Smart Mobility solutions, including autonomous vehicles, on-demand shuttles and eBikes to transport employees.

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