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Shaw Industries' carpet-to-energy facility earns LEED Silver

Shaw Industries Group has achieved the USGBC's LEED Silver designation for New Construction for its Reclaim to Energy (Re2E) process building, in Dalton, Ga.

"We take a holistic approach to all that we do, so it's only fitting that the facilities that manufacture and recycle our products are also designed for minimal environmental impact," said, Paul Murray, VP sustainability and environmental affairs, Shaw Industries. 

In 2012, Shaw's 35,397-sq.-ft. Re2E facility began to convert carpet to steam energy -- a steady, cost-stable alternative power supply for two adjacent carpet manufacturing facilities. Re2E is projected to convert 84 million lbs. of carpet each year into 50,000 lbs. of steam energy per hour. It will save enough fossil fuel to power the equivalent of about 7,500 homes annually -- eventually co-generating enough electrical energy to help sustain its own operations.

"Our engineering and facilities staff worked diligently to identify opportunities to decrease our environmental impact as well as reduce operating costs at this facility," Murray added. "Earning LEED points for an industrial facility in a non-metropolitan area requires more thought and planning than for an office building in a more urban area because such facilities can't readily take advantage of site-based points such as development density or transportation connectivity."

Features contributing to the Re2E's LEED Silver certification include:

  • Optimized energy performance, obtaining more than 20% cost savings compared with buildings that only comply with Georgia's strong energy code -- reducing environmental and economic impacts associated with excessive energy use;
  • Water efficient landscaping, achieving a 50% reduction in the use of potable water, or other natural surface or subsurface water resources available on or near the project site, for landscape irrigation;
  • Incorporating products that in aggregate achieved more than 28% recycled content for the building; and
  • Using low-emitting materials, including Shaw Contract Group's Site Lines Carpet Tile, which boasts 44% recycled content, is Cradle to Cradle Silver Certified and 100% recyclable.
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