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Nissan Disses U.S. Green Building Council

nissan_headquarters.jpgIn July, Nissan North America is moving its headquarters to a 50-acre green campus with a restored wetland.

But Nissan isn’t seeking a seal of approval from the U.S. Green Building Council. Rob Traynham, the company’s director of corporate services, said Nissan preferred to spend money to restore the wetland “rather than have a plaque on the wall,” AP reports.

Green features include:

– A light harvesting system that automatically dims or turns off interior lights in the 460,000 square feet of offices.

– Sun shades outside with computer-designed blades direct sunlight to reduce glare and heat.

– Air conditioning and heat controlled through outlets at each work station.

Nissan says that the headquarters should consume about 35 percent less energy than a traditionally designed building, according to the article.

In 2006, Nissan unveiled a new environmental action plan dubbed Nissan Green Program 2010.

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4 thoughts on “Nissan Disses U.S. Green Building Council

  1. If Nissan truly wanted to be Green, they would have located the building in an urban center served by transit to avoid the parking deck and avoid all of the fuel used to access the building by all of the employees. Also, do they have a program to ensure that employees can work, even if they cannot drive or do not have access to an automobile? Perhaps this is why they are avoiding LEEDs, because they wouldn’t meet much of the criteria.

  2. We know that LEED certification costs money… mainly in USGBC certification costs and in design documentation costs. So yeah, you could put that money into other areas of a building (or in this case, wetland). That’s all fine and dandy if you don’t plan on marketing your building, submitting it for awards, and preaching to others about the benefits of sustainability. If you do plan on doing that though (as I’m sure they do), you really should pursue some kind of third party validation, which LEED does a great job with.

    There is a very prominent architect in my town that loves to say, “LEED is just a buzzword. We’ve been doing that type of design all along.” Yet whenever I visit one of his airports or convention centers, I smell off-gassing carpets, see lousy use of daylighting, and find materials that have had to be imported from outside the country, let alone a 500-mile radius. The point is, you can say you’re doing the right thing, but unless it gets a seal of approval (LEED, Green Globes, etc.) then I’m going to be inherently skeptical.

  3. Oh, and the cost of registering and certifying this project with the USGBC would be $16,550. There are some documentation and modeling costs as well (I assume they had the building commissioned so I won’t add those costs), but I would think that they would be less than $100K. So, the cost of that “plaque” would at most be about 0.1% of that $100 million budget. Seems like a good investment in validating that project to me.

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