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Green building and LEED in Taiwan

Published on Written by Posted in LEED

As a LEED fellow of ours recently quipped, many people who experience a LEED building often say: “There’s something nice about this building that we have never felt before about our previous buildings.”

LEED buildings bring a harmony between the natural and indoor worlds. They become part of the natural habitat, serving as places of health, comfort and productivity while reinforcing the necessity of green buildings for the world of tomorrow. 

I had the privilege of touring Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited’s (TSMC) LEED Platinum certified factory in Taichung this spring and meeting their dedicated team of leaders, Mr. Alfred Chuang and Mr. Tony Chen. Their attention to detail, sensitivity towards the environment and the high premium they place on their 40,0000 employees well-being and safety is not only inspiring, but it sets a very high bar for all of us. 

With a market cap of $100 billion and annual sales of $20.1 billion in 2013, TSMC is the world’s largest semiconductor foundry. They are leaders transforming the technology industry keenly aware of the rapid evolution of mobile technologies.

As TSMC is committed to making progress towards their mission to be the most trusted technology and capacity provider for the global IC industry, they have simultaneously committed to transforming their built environment. They started aggressively focusing on LEED in 2006 and set a simple roadmap for success—Learn. Pilot. Promote. Harvest.

After TSMC’s first LEED Gold certification in 2008, 47 projects in Taiwan have gone on to achieve LEED certification since then and another 122 projects are in the pipeline to get certified. Additionally, TSMC has achieved three LEED certifications for its fabrication facilities with 11 more projects already in the pipeline.  TSMC’s commitment to a green future extends beyond LEED, too. They have embraced Taiwan Green Building Rating System, ISO 50001 and ISO 14064. Their commitments have been recognized every year since 2000 by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.

They have clearly inspired the community and the nation to lead.

Though for TSMC, it’s not just a matter of transforming their built environment. They are also in the business of cultural transformation.

They have invested more than 20,000 hours in developing the talent and competence in the green building space to ensure that not only its employees are committed to LEED but their entire supply chain is integrated into its core green building principles and mission. This is no trial investment for a company like TSMC but it certainly shows how by starting right, you grow right. This is how leaders lead.

And what did I personally experience in their LEED-certified environment? Nothing short of clean air and complete comfort. A high rise atrium in their office with a beautiful green wall soared to the clouds. The space was not air-conditioned yet still provided absolute comfort despite the high humidity outside. When done right, LEED can assure maximum comfort for its occupants.  This is of particular importance for TSMC whose policy stipulates that employees’ safety and comfort comes first.

Taiwan is a beautiful, naturally green country with thousands working towards protecting its ecology for years to come. TSMC has beautifully integrated their LEED buildings into the community and surrounding landscape. Some features include eco ponds surrounding their structures providing natural habitats for insect and small animals.

Again, you have to see it to believe it. It’s inspiring. Congratulations, Messrs Chauang and Chen. You lead, and we are honored to follow.

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    Mahesh Ramanujam made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Mahesh Ramanujam

Chief Operating Officer U.S. Green Building Council

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