FEBRUARY 2009

LEED certification granted to existing Firestone facility

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC’s (BFNT) Warren County plant in Tennessee has earned LEED Silver certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is rarely given to existing manufacturing sites. This is the first LEED certification for a tire plant in the world.

BFNT’s Warren County tire plant has a record of environmental performance including its use of clean energy hydrogen fuel cells in automated-guided vehicles in the plant. The BFNT Warren facility has significantly reduced energy consumption and has reduced water consumption in the plant by more than 8 million gallons per year.

This type of recognition is rare for an existing building and even more impressive for the Warren County truck and bus tire plant which was built 19 years ago. It is only the second existing manufacturing site in the country to earn this certification.

Said BFNT’s director of environmental management, Greer Tidwell, “Since most LEED certifications are awarded to new buildings (typically office environments), our team had to work very hard to meet the stringent standards necessary to achieve LEED.”

“Existing buildings make up 95 percent of the buildings, and only about 5 percent of buildings are replaced each year,” added Kim Shinn, director of the USGBC who is also a principal of TLC Engineering for Architecture, a sustainability consulting firm. “Building a new facility to green building standards is laudable and good for the earth. However, we have a more immediate challenge. We must reach into our current buildings and raise them to the green operation and maintenance standards of LEED for Existing Buildings. Bridgestone Firestone is clearly showing the way to respond to the most-important challenges of our time,” Shinn concluded.