Fabri-Kal’s Kalamazoo, Michigan, manufacturing plant was awarded LEED Silver certification.

Established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) system ensures that LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger region. Committed to their community and ongoing efforts to be an environmentally responsible manufacturer, Fabri-Kal insisted on meeting the LEED certification requirements.

Fabri-Kal’s Kalamazoo-based plant, purchased in 2008, was formerly a vacant Brownfield site and has been upgraded over the last two years into a state-of-the-art design and manufacturing facility. Fabri-Kal’s renovation of the 400,000-square-foot vacant plant helped revitalize what was formerly a neglected, unproductive use of space for the Kalamazoo community.

Fabri-Kal worked hand-in-hand with Kalamazoo-based architecture, engineering and interior design firm, Eckert Wordell, to ensure total LEED compliance at their Kalamazoo manufacturing facility. Among the unique credits included in Fabri-Kal’s certification, they were given top marks for water efficient landscaping, water use reduction, as well as the use of low-emitting materials like sealants, paints and adhesives. Additionally, they have been applauded for their building reuse, maintaining 99.16 percent of the previous building’s wall, floor, and roof elements.

Jason Navotny, senior associate at Eckert Wordell worked closely on the project and says, “Becoming LEED-certified took a major commitment from Fabri-Kal. They sourced many of their materials locally, therefore reducing carbon emissions of shipping, and optimized the building’s energy efficiency by installing new HVAC units and windows that reduce energy costs. With fewer than five LEED-certified buildings in the Kalamazoo area, Fabri-Kal should be very proud of the environmentally responsible steps they have taken to positively impact the community and planet.”

According to USGBC, building operations are nearly 40 percent of the solution to the global climate change challenge.

“The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of our time, including global climate change, dependence on non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy and threats to human health,” says Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council.

“The work of innovative building projects such as Fabri-Kal’s manufacturing plant is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement.”