Calhoun, Ga.—The Mohawk Flooring Center located here, once a bustling spin mill that produced 500 million pounds of yarn annually, has been awarded LEED Gold certification.
“Obtaining LEED certification for the Mohawk Flooring Center is a stepping stone in our sustainability journey,” said Rochelle Routman, Mohawk’s vice president of sustainability. “Mohawk is always looking for the next opportunity—whether it be a product, process or technology—that will push sustainability forward for us, for the flooring industry and for the manufacturing sector in general.”
The Mohawk Flooring Center houses a large team of employees in various functions supporting Mohawk’s Flooring North America business unit. The facility achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
“One thing Mohawk is known for is renewing and recycling and repurposing,” said Brian Carson, president of Mohawk Flooring. “We recycle more than 5 billion pounds of product a year. What would be more appropriate than repurposing a building? Plus, we make all these great products that contribute to LEED certification, why not walk the talk and make the building LEED certified?”
Carson noted the building was too small to be a manufacturing facility of the future, but thought it would serve the company well to bring the entire team together in one space that would foster innovation and improve the business in ways it was unable to when it operated out of six of seven facilities from Atlanta to the Carolinas. “We created a first-class place to bring our customers to show the type of company Mohawk is.”
The LEED rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the most recognizable program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. More than 53,908 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 727.34 million square feet of construction space in all 50 states.
Mohawk’s management team, led by Routman, implemented a number of strategic operations in design and construction, including the following:
*The project site was restored during the construction process to a more natural landscape than what existed. Native grasses were allowed to grow along with shrubbery and trees to create a natural stream habitat.
*A combination of high efficiency toilets, urinals, hand faucets and showerheads resulted in a greater than 30% reduction in building water usage on an annual basis.
*Strategic measures were implemented in lighting design, including use of occupancy sensors, skylights and high efficiency fixtures that resulted in an overall 30% reduction in lighting power.
*An extensive recycling system was established throughout the office and common spaces. Staff and visitors are able to recycle anything that typically comes from an office environment at their desks or in common areas located throughout the space.
*Over 70% of the Flooring Center’s furniture as well as building components such as pillars were repurposed from other Mohawk locations.
*All Mohawk carpet used in the building is Green Label Plus certified and was installed with low VOC adhesives.
*During construction, the contractors followed a strict indoor air quality policy to ensure materials were not contaminated by construction activities before their installation.
“Getting LEED certification at this building is not an end point,” Routman said. “It is a starting point. We will continue to work to make this a world-class sustainable environment.”
For more information on Mohawk’s commitment to sustainability initiatives, visit mohawksustainability.com.