Amway’s newest LEED Building: Research and Development Lab

Amway R&D Lab - LEED Silver

Amway R&D Lab – LEED Silver

The USGBC West Michigan Chapter would like to congratulate Amway on their recent achievement of LEED for Commercial Interiors – Silver level certification at their Research and Development lab building. This building is located in the global headquarters complex in Ada, MI. Research and Development (R&D) at Amway has seen significant growth from the time Amway was a $1 billion company in 1981, when the building was originally constructed, to $12 billion today. With 220 of the 700 scientists and technicians in Ada working in the R&D building, Amway found themselves facing challenges regarding space and design. A decision was made to renovate the building and work began in 2009. The project took place in phases and took 3 years to complete.

Amway R&D Lab

Amway R&D Lab

“One of the primary reasons for the decision to pursue LEED was to help attract the best personnel from around the globe.” says Rick VanDellen, Sustainability Program Manager. “Amway understands the value of a healthy and sustainable work environment and LEED aids in the recruitment of new employees and retention of current employees.”

A few of the LEED interior design features include:

  • Office and lab spaces were separated to enhance energy efficiency – Labs require a high amount of outdoor air and this separation allowed Amway to concentrate these air exchanges in the required areas. The addition of ERV’s (Energy Recovery Ventilation) aids in the process of exchanging the energy which would normally be exhausted.
  • Increased size of windows to allow more natural light. In turn, Amway was able to reduce lighting fixtures from 4-lamp T8 totaling around 128 watts each to 2-lamp T8 fixtures totaling around 50 watts each
  • Low VOC materials were used which met laboratory standards
  • Use of green cleaning products. Amway produces 43 green cleaning products that are certified by the EPA’s Design for Environment (DFE). A voluntary third party certification.
  • Water bottle refilling station with imbedded counter to display how many plastic water bottles are saved by using the refilling station
Amway R&D Lab - Exterior

Amway R&D Lab – Exterior

“Prior to the renovation the R&D lab was the highest energy consuming building on campus. That has been reduced by 30% since the renovation.” says VanDellen. The headquarters is powered by 20% wind power via a co-operative from Wolverine Power. All the wind power is coming from the thumb in Michigan.

Submitted by:
Cheri Holman, LEED AP O+M, USGBC WM President
Director of Energy Services, Hurst Mechanical

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