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Solid Green: Dunn-Edwards Facility Wins LEED Gold Designation

Thursday, August 18, 2011

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Dunn-Edwards Corp.’s new paint and coatings manufacturing facility in Phoenix has been awarded LEED Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system, making the plant the first coatings-production site to win the LEED designation, the company reported.

 Dunn-Edwards Phoenix Facility

 Dunn-Edwards Corp.

Dunn-Edwards’ new manufacturing facility in Phoenix has been awarded LEED Gold certification.

The certification follows a verification process conducted by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

The 336,000-sq.-ft. plant was custom designed to be “the greenest and most efficient in the coatings industry,” the company said. The “ultra-modern” building houses manufacturing, product-development and quality-control laboratories, a distribution center, retail outlet, and office space. 

“We have incorporated innovative, energy-efficient equipment and protocols, such as unique high-efficiency process equipment with integrated dust-suppression technology, so that no particulates are emitted to ambient air, and advanced wastewater recycling techniques to conserve water,” said Karl Altergott, Dunn-Edwards president. “Our systems are classified as ultra-low discharge, meaning that waste generation is virtually eliminated.”

The company says it purchased the building in 2009 for $12 million and has made $28 million in improvements. The plant was formally opened in June; see Dunn-Edwards Goes for LEED Gold.

To earn LEED Gold certification, new construction projects must earn at least 60 points under the LEED rating system. Points are earned in major credit categories such as Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Additional points are possible under the Innovation in Design and Regional Priority categories.

Gold certification is second only to Platinum as a LEED certification level; the system also includes the base “Certified” level and the second-tier Silver level.

Dunn-Edwards asserts that it is “one of the most environmentally-friendly paint manufacturers and an industry leader in eco-efficient principles,” reflecting the company’s Greener by Design philosophy. The company says this approach is reflected in initiatives emphasizing energy efficiency, waste minimization, recycling, emissions reductions, and health and safety protection.  

“So, not only are we manufacturing paint that is more eco-friendly, we have taken great steps to conserve energy and material resources, and to reduce waste in our physical environment,” Altergott said.

Observing that “even small changes can add up to big eco-savings,” the company says it eliminated cardboard boxes for packaging of 1-gallon containers and instead uses heat shrink wrap, a move that is reported to reduce cardboard consumption by 1 million boxes—equating to approximately 250 tons of cardboard—per year.

Altergott reports that energy calculations on the new plant show a 50% reduction over its two existing operations—one built in the mid-1950s and the other in the mid-1970s. 

“Our innovative automation at the new plant is one of the most comprehensive systems in the industry and light years beyond what we had at the older facilities,” he said. “We are so much more efficient—saving time, money and resources. Increased automation has reduced the physical demands of workers, and thus potential injuries.”

With more than 50% more space than the company’s two former plants combined, the new facility meets the need for long-term growth and has room to expand another 40,000 square feet, Dunn-Edwards says.

Dunn-Edwards has produced and sold paint and coatings products in the Southwest for 85 years, and operates 109 stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. The company is one of the nation’s largest independent manufacturers and distributors of architectural paints and painting supplies. The company started business in 1925 with a small plant in Los Angeles, and expanded the facility as the company grew. A new, larger facility in Tempe, Ariz., was added in the 1970s; all manufacturing and distribution operations have been consolidated in the new plant in Phoenix.


Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Coatings manufacturers; Coatings technology; Dunn-Edwards; LEED; U.S. Green Building Council

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