First Manufacturing Company in Oregon to Achieve This Level
July 28, 2011, OREGON CITY, Ore.-The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded Benchmade Knife Company with Gold Certification LEED EB: O&M for their facility in Oregon City, Oregon. This award represents an extensive effort by Benchmade to adhere to a number of environmentally rigorous standards. Benchmade is the first Oregon manufacturing company to achieve this highly esteemed Gold Certification.
“Our entire workforce played a role in helping us get LEED Gold,” says Les de Asis, Founder and CEO of Benchmade. “These efforts will payoff in terms of both reducing our environmental impact as well as improving our bottom line.”
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system. The system identifies best practices for buildings in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable grounds, healthy indoor air quality, and environmentally friendly materials. LEED EB: O&M certification, otherwise known as LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, identifies and rewards current best practices and provides an outline for buildings to use less energy, water, and natural resources, improve indoor environment, and uncover operating inefficiencies.
“LEED certification identifies Benchmade Knife Company as a pioneering example of sustainable design and demonstrates their leadership in transforming the building industry” commented S. Richard Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chairman, US Green Building Council.
To attain LEED EB: O&M, a building must address five broad categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, materials & resources, and indoor environmental quality. Benchmade discovered innovative ways to improve the efficiency of their building, including:
- installed economizer on all HVAC units controlling and reducing emissions for office environments
- installed ENERGY STAR™, White PVC Versiflex roof
- installed T5HO4 Lamp fixtures for operation general lighting, resulting in annually saving of 51,073 kWh, 88% Return on Investment (ROI), estimated by Energy Trust of Oregon
- installed ultra water saver faucet aerator (0.5 gpm @ 60psi)
- monitoring and controlling industrial water
- reduce, reuse, recycle materials
“Taking the necessary steps to achieve LEED Gold Certification was not easy, but it’s wonderful to be acknowledged for our efforts” said John Ciorba, Benchmade’s Facilities and Maintenance Manager.
Benchmade was assisted on the project by Green Building Services, a comprehensive sustainable development consulting firm. To date, Green Building Services has managed the certification of more than 350 LEED projects worldwide.
The Gold certified 50,400 square-foot manufacturing facility is located at the Benchmade headquarters in Oregon City, Oregon. Benchmade expects a financial return on their investment in attaining LEED Gold within two years, perhaps sooner.