Achieving LEED with Zero Investment in Arizona’s Green University

April 23, 2011 / William Thomson, Green Homes Expert

Through years of promoting environmental conservation, Intel’s fabrication building in Arizona’s ‘green’ university has achieved a silver LEED certification for “Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance”.

Achieving LEED with Zero Investment in Arizona’s Green University

The US Green Building Council awarded the certification to Intel Corporation, an industrial technology company that puts green efforts to its entire Ocotillo campus in Arizona State University which nests wafer fabrication plants, support and office buildings.

USGBC has also previously awarded a LEED certification to a power plant inside the Oregon State University, and it’s the highest award that has been granted to an on-campus 6.5-megawatt power plant for its efficient plumbing fixtures that help save the water used through its water-efficient landscaping. The fixtures also include rainwater harvesting for make-up and steam system that generates hot water through heat recovery.

Intel’s LEED-certified manufacturing building did not need a single investment to achieve the certification, owing to the company’s decades-old efforts to promote environmental conservation.

The manufacturing building that lies inside Arizona’s green university has a Semiconductor Industry Association benchmark data showing the Ocotillo campus’s 26 percent less energy usage than the average semiconductor campus.

The building has 200 and 300 kW solar electricity support structures mounted inside the green university‘s parking lot. The solar installations generate renewable energy that is transferred to local utilities in compliance with its Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

The Ocotillo campus uses non-potable water, 100pc of which comes from the irrigation and 95pc from the cooling tower that are fed from Chandler City’s waste water treatment plant to Intel.

On the other hand, the campus retains 100pc of stormwater.

Brian Krzanich, senior vice president and general manager of Manufacturing and Supply Chain for Intel, described the efforts spent to achieve LEED silver certification as an “immense undertaking” due to the “complexity and size of the Ocotillo campus.”

Being an infrastructure that meets green requirements, the Ocotillo campus grows a throng of algae in its rooftop through a fabrication facility that emits enough carbon dioxide. The facility has been designed by Intel engineers to create clean burning biofuel.

The engineers set up a proof-of-concept model on the roof showing how boiler emissions are captured, how they are used to grow algae, and how these algae are converted into biofuel.

The carbon recycling facility is designed to cut short overall emissions of carbon from the Ocotillo fabirication facility. Furthermore, the carbon emitted from burning fossil fuels in the Intel boilers is then displaced by the renewable alternative fuel.

Next, Intel will study how much carbon is emitted by the facility inside Arizona’s green university to develop the project on a larger scale.

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