American Honda Goes Green in Gresham

American Honda has opened a unique "green" facility in Gresham, Ore., that was designed and constructed with recycled, recyclable and sustainable building materials.

American Honda has opened a unique "green" facility in Gresham, Ore. The 212,888 sq. ft. warehouse, training center and zone office was designed and constructed with recycled, recyclable and sustainable building materials.

American Honda's Northwest Regional Facility, which will supply Honda parts to nine Western states, utilizes environmentally friendly products in virtually every aspect of the building's design, construction and operation - from its lighting, heating, flooring, bathroom tiles and wall finishes to exterior landscaping. The facility was opened at a ceremony attended by local elected officials, members of Oregon's environmental community, American Honda senior executives and other guests.

"Honda associates have been a part of the greater Portland community for more than 22 years," stated Anthony Piazza, American Honda HR/Administration Division's assistant vice president. "We chose to 'go green in Gresham' because of Oregon's leadership in the sustainable development movement and because we wanted to demonstrate that a warehouse and commercial building can be environmentally friendly and energy efficient while supporting normal business activities."

American Honda relied heavily on the expertise of a number of Portland-based environmental organizations and government entities for the facility's sustainable development design, construction and operation. These local experts included Portland Energy Conservation Inc., Portland General Electric, the city of Gresham and other local design, construction and engineering firms, all of whom collaborated closely with American Honda to build the Gresham facility. More than 20 percent of all the materials used to construct the Gresham facility come from within a 500-mile radius of the site.

"For more than 30 years, Honda has built products that pollute less, and our factories worldwide meet the highest environmental standards," said Atsuyoshi Hyogo, American Honda's COO and senior executive vice president. "At our new Gresham facility, Honda took its environmental commitment one step further by using recycled, recyclable and environmentally friendly products in the building's design, construction and operation."

Some of the innovative, sustainable products used in Honda's Northwest Regional Facility include:

  • A rainwater collection system that gathers accumulated rainwater on the roof and funnels it into a 90,000-gallon storage tank for on-site use. This "gray water" will irrigate the facility's landscaping and provide water for toilets.
  • Hallway flooring is made from recycled automobile tires and office flooring is made from 100 percent recycled and recyclable carpet fiber and backing.
  • Conference room wall coverings are made from recycled telephone books and conference room tabletops made from compressed sunflower seeds.

Honda is also working closely with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to receive a LEED Gold Certification, the USGBC's second highest certification level (platinum being highest) for the Gresham facility's environmentally friendly design, construction and operation. The USGBC is the nation's foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, and profitable and healthy places to live and work.

The Gresham facility is not Honda's first attempt to be environmentally friendly. Through the company's "Green Factory" program, Honda's manufacturing facilities worldwide have undertaken efforts to improve waste disposal, reduce factory emissions and cut energy use.

edited by Sandy Smith

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