FCA BelvidereUS – The bodyshop of the OEM’s Illinois plant was certified within the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building System after meeting strict environmental standards.

With an investment of $700m, the 638,000 sq.ft bodyshop was built on a brownfield site near the existing assembly plant in order to accommodate the special architecture of the Dodge Dart, the first vehicle born of the Chrysler and Fiat partnership; Belvidere also makes the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. At its launch in 2012, the new facility became a benchmark for future Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) bodyshops in terms of design, efficiency and flexibility.

“When we have the opportunity to build a new facility, our goal is to design it in a manner that will save money and resources, while having a positive impact on the health of our employees and a minimal impact on the environment,” commented Brian Harlow, vice-president – Manufacturing, FCA North America.

During the build process, around 43% of new materials featured recycled content, while 95% of the construction waste was diverted from landfill. Furthermore, 57% of build materials were sourced within a 500-mile radius of the construction site. The facility has also been designed with recycling collection areas.

Potable water use in the new building has been cut by 22%, or 61,000 gallons, by incorporating water-saving plumbing fixtures, while the energy saving amounts to $3m per year. Energy use has been minimised by: decreasing the interior lighting; improving roof and wall insulation; installing efficient heating equipment and variable speed drives on supply fan units; and using air economisers, CO2 monitoring and variable air volume fan drives and terminal air distribution boxes. There is also a building management system (BMS) to control conditions such as lighting, plus the water weld system.

Administered by the US Green Building Council, LEED covers five key areas: site planning, water management, energy, material use and indoor environmental quality. Awards range from Silver through Gold to Platinum.