LEED O+M: Existing Buildings v2008
Intel Ocotillo Campus
Chandler, AZ 85248
LEED Silver 2011
* This profile has been peer-reviewed by a USGBC-selected team of technical experts.
The below stakeholder perspectives address the following LEED credits:
EAc1, EAc2.1, EAc2.2, EAc2.3, EAc3.1, MRp2, MRc6, MRc7, MRc8, MRc9, WEc4
Goals and motivations
What were the top overarching goals and objectives?
A top goal was to validate Intel's existing green building practices. We have in place a policy to build new facilities to a minimum of LEED Silver, however, we wanted to show that our existing facilities have long been built to high standards. A strong outcome of LEED certification is that we now have a way to explain how Intel incorporates environmental considerations into our manufacturing facilities to the public and others in a way that people can easily understand. This has contributed to Intel's reputation with key stakeholders as environmentally responsible.
A second goal was to continue to support Intel's overall commitment to environmental responsibility and environmental stewardship. Intel has a strong overall commitment to corporate responsibility and to driving improvements in environmental performance over time by setting environmental goals to achieve reductions in air and greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and waste generation in our operations. Our goals are published in our most recent annual Corporate Responsibility Report. Use of green building standards and achievement of LEED certification provides an important foundation for us to make future progress against our goals.
A third goal was to reinforce the message that LEED certification can make business sense. By demonstrating the feasibility in a highly-complex manufacturing facility like the one at Ocotillo, this hopefully will encourage other manufacturers and companies to move along this path and achieve cost savings over time through more efficient design.
What were the motivations to pursue LEED certification and how did they influence the project?
The greatest motivation was to prove that Intel's historical design, build, and operation methodology has been "green" the entire time of the Ocotillo campus being in operation.
What were the most notable strategies used to earn LEED credits?
Two notable and instrumental strategies in achieving certification at Intel surrounded the campus approach and the use of industry benchmarking data for energy conservation benchmarking purposes. This did not come without challenges. We took a standard designed for an office building and applied it to all of the buildings across an entire manufacturing campus. Several key referenced standards (ENERGY STAR and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers [ASHRAE] 62.1-2007) were not applicable to many of the buildings on Intel's campus, and energy use for several of the buildings could not be effectively separated due to the interconnected nature of the campus, which is standard design practice for the semiconductor industry.
New solar parking and roof-mounted photovoltaic systems will generate 755,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy per year. They also provide shade for cars, the roof, and a portion of the parking area, which reduces the urban heat island effect.
The certification team proposed to compare Intel's energy data for the Ocotillo Campus against the latest benchmarking data available through the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) Environmental Metrics Program (EMP), which includes 17 companies and more than 30 campuses from around the world. The SIA EMP data benchmarks campuses against each other in many different areas, including energy use, water consumption, and air emissions, with data normalized for manufacturing throughput. By using industry benchmarking data and thoroughly documenting energy consumption normalized by manufacturing throughput, Intel was able to demonstrate that the majority of buildings on campus exceeded the intent of LEED EA p2 and met EA c1 by achieving the required performance against peer facilities. After running calculations, looking at electric and gas, we were 26% better than the baseline.
The campus approach was instrumental in achieving credits in several other categories due to the campus-wide management systems employed at Intel. These include shared parking, 100% stormwater retention, across-campus water reuse, and campus-wide custodial and waste management practices. Unlike a university campus, these buildings are attached to each other, so we couldn't separate out individual buildings except stand-alone warehouses and offices.
One of the most notable strategies for this project are those involved in Intel's robust solid waste management program, which is integral to company culture and reflected in our employee, contractor, and community education activities. We reused, recycled, or composted 74% of our consumable waste stream and 100% of our durable goods waste stream during the performance period.
At present, the Ocotillo Campus recycles 90% of its solid waste annually.
Among the many items that Intel recycles are electronic scrap, from which precious metals are recovered; office supplies and computers, which are donated to schools and local non-profit organizations; furniture, which is donated to local homes and shelters; and cell phones, which are donated to community assistance groups, women's shelters and emergency service providers. Coffee grounds are donated to the desert botanical gardens, wildlife preserves, Habitat for Humanity, and educational support districts.
As a result of the LEED-EB: O&M requirements and process, Intel has adopted a more robust solid waste auditing program. Ocotillo Campus management personnel have also established a new solid waste management team partnership with hauling contractors that includes enhanced employee education and other measurable improvements. All tonnages from the hauler reports are compiled monthly and submitted to Intel's Property Manager and Environmental Engineer for review. A full program review is conducted quarterly with Intel's management and Environmental Health & Safety department. A detailed procedure for electronic waste streams, which is owned and managed by both Intel IT and Security, must be followed. Due to potential intellectual property concerns, audits and reviews are conducted to ensure that all Intel assets are going through the correct channels. An elaborate Microsoft Excel tracking document, as well as a multi-tiered management revision structure, ensures the accuracy and integrity of all weights.
What cutting-edge strategies or processes were implemented?
One innovative strategy used on this project was the installation of an algae biofuel demonstration unit, in conjunction with Arizona State University (ASU), to capture boiler emissions of CO2 to grow algae and create biofuel. Apart from striving to meet the green building requirements laid out in the LEED rating system, Intel engineers are constantly innovating with sustainability in mind. After determining that the CO2 emissions produced by Intel's Fab were well-suited to grow algae, which can be used to create clean-burning biofuel, we worked with ASU to erect a small proof-of-concept model on the roof of the Ocotillo Fab.
This model demonstrates the capture of boiler emissions, use of the emissions to grow algae, and conversion of those algae into biofuel.
This kind of carbon recycling could reduce the overall carbon emissions of the Fab and, by creating a sustainable alternative fuel, displace the carbon emissions of burning fossil fuels from the Intel boilers. The next phase of this project will focus on measuring the amounts of carbon captured, identifying options for implementing the concept on a larger scale, and assessing how algae-based carbon recycling should be recognized under regulatory regimes. Intel and ASU plan to continue to make their research results publicly available under an open, collaborative research model the team has established. This project is part of Intel's Sustainability in Action program, through which employees can secure funding to share Intel's expertise in environmental sustainability with communities around the world.
This boiler is low NOx. In partnership with Arizona State University, Intel has installed an experimental algae biofuel demonstration unit to capture boiler emissions of carbon dioxide and create biofuel.
Another innovative aspect of the Intel Ocotillo Campus project was actually showing that the LEED for Existing Buildings standard could be applied to the buildings on this large manufacturing campus. The Intel Ocotillo is a large campus that houses very complicated and regulated manufacturing processes. As a result, it was not an easy path to certification - but it was a transformative path for two reasons: first, it showed that it is possible to certify a large industrial facility, and second, it identified specific areas where the LEED program can be improved to facilitate certification for industrial facilities.
How was the integrative process applied and what was the greatest benefit gained?
Our consultants had to educate us so much on what exactly was needed for LEED. Intel is very integrated; we work in teams every day and when we build a new plant, many internal stakeholders are involved from start to finish, including chemical, environmental, mechanical, and electrical engineers; construction staff; operations staff; property management; planning and finance staff; our corporate group; and consultants. For this project, we conducted regular meetings for a year; we had to wade together through energy data. Once we hit the final LEED performance period, we met daily to ensure that LEED documentation was put into the right formats.
Intel has also established external partnerships that are very integrated into our operations. Arizona presents unique water use challenges due to its arid climate and fast-growing metropolitan areas. Ocotillo Campus personnel have formed a strong partnership with the City of Chandler to use innovative technologies to achieve aggressive water-reuse results. The following initiatives form the foundation of Intel's comprehensive water efficiency strategy:
- Chandler Reverse Osmosis (RO) Recharge Facility: Intel funded and spearheaded an advanced reverse osmosis water treatment facility in partnership with the City to treat process wastewater to drinking-water standards and return it to the underground aquifer to replenish the groundwater supply. In this way, we have drastically reduced the net use of potable city water, treating millions of gallons of wastewater annually and returning it to the aquifer.
- Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) Effluent Reuse Program: A portion of the City-treated effluent from its POTW is returned to the Ocotillo Campus for use in mechanical systems (e.g., scrubbers, cooling towers).
We've also partnered with Arizona's Department of Environmental Quality and Students Recycling Use Technology to create the first computer recycling in the state. Computers are donated to schools and local non-profit organizations.
Aside from LEED certification, what do you consider key project successes?
I think the greatest success of this project is that we have helped to open the dialogue about LEED with others in our industry. Companies are expressing interest in talking with us. Working directly with USGBC, we're creating a collaborative community in manufacturing to share best practices, product, and cost information, as well as to encourage changes within LEED to better address the needs of the manufacturing community to encourage broader uptake.
What were the most important long- and short-term value-add strategies and what returns on investment (ROI) have been experienced or anticipated?
The strategy that has gained the greatest ROI is our robust solid waste recycling program. Our present 90% solid waste recycling rate at the Ocotillo Campus saves money and generates new revenue. In addition, due to Intel's standard operating procedures, 19 energy cost improvements conducted in 2012 prior to pursuing LEED resulted in more than $540,000 annual savings with a five-year ROI. In addition, 12 energy efficiency measures identified through an ASHRAE audit conducted as part of the LEED process resulted in an additional savings of $12,000 per year. All of those 12 issues were HVAC-related, such as reducing the introduction of outside air when hot and humid, and using demand-control ventilation.
A dockside recycling program at Intel led to a solid waste recycling rate of 90% in 2011. The dumpsters are pictured in red.
What project challenges became important lessons learned?
My biggest aha moment on this project was in regards to LEED documentation. One of the first things I did was to walk the entire site to make sure all meters were monitoring; I spent a lot of time confirming where to pull the required LEED data from the 88,000 points on the site that are monitored. Later in the game, I realized that there was already existing data that could be used for LEED documentation because others were already gathering it. Now given this process, we've been able to improve our approach to what gets measured, aggregated, and communicated across campus, transforming the role of a standard energy manager.
Being the first semiconductor manufacturing facility to earn LEED for Existing Buildings: O&M, scoping for internal and external resources was challenging because our questions for clarifying what documentation is needed for each LEED component were brand-new. I recommend that other project teams understand as best they're able early in the project what documentation is needed for the LEED points they pursue.
What was a pivotal moment that impacted the project's direction?
When GBCI required adjustments (such as demonstrating individual-building compliance for some LEED credits) to our initial LEED submission, we considered giving up altogether. But we decided to push through, recognizing that it came down to the complexities of being a manufacturing plant. In the end, LEED afforded some improvements to Intel's corporate design and operations strategies. For example, I approve all of the chemicals we use and although I was already pushing Intel toward integrating these details into contracts, LEED provided an opportunity to formalize this process. Through the LEED process, we realized that some of our warehouses are not energy-efficient, so we're now improving this for both existing and new warehouses. At Intel, when we find a better strategy, we adopt it - such as installing more water meters at the site.
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