Volkswagen’s aim: Eco-friendly

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Center’s grand opening June 25

By Damon Lawrence

Volkswagen’s new Southeastern Regional Distribution Center in Roane County is looking to do something that none of the car company’s other warehouses have done.    
“We are going for LEED certification,” said John Kutz, senior manager of the facility.
“It will be the only Volkswagen LEED certified warehouse in our entire network.”
LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED is an internationally recognized green building program.
“It provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions,” the building council said.
Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant, which builds the Passat, has LEED platinum certification.
“Our goal is to get basic,” Kutz said about the distribution center.
Kutz said the 400,000-square-foot facility has a number of green features, including LED lighting on the outside and motion-sensored lights on the inside.
“This building is also climate-controlled year-round, so we’ve got heat and air,” Kutz said.
Kutz said the building also features low-flow water bathroom fixtures. Low-flow fixtures are supposed to save water.
There are also recycle bins in the employee break room.
“We’re real close to having the certification,” Kutz said. “That’s one of the proud moments for Volkswagen, is to be able to have our first warehouse LEED certified.”
The distribution center is at Roane Regional Business and Technology Park. It will serve as both a redistribution center for Volkswagen as well as a parts distribution center for different Volkswagen and Audi dealers around the country.    
The grand opening for the new center is scheduled for June 25.