Oldenburg building earns national ‘green’ certification


News Editor

KINGSFORD – Oldenburg Group Inc. is taking the lead.

Or make that LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

In a first for Oldenburg, its technology center overlooking the Menominee River in Kingsford has achieved LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The structure is among just a handful of green buildings – and so far the largest – to be recognized in the south-central Upper Peninsula.

“It’s the right thing to do for the environment,” said Wayne C. Oldenburg, chief executive officer of Oldenburg Group.

LEED is the accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. The rating system recognizes performance in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Oldenburg, a Milwaukee-based global supplier of engineered heavy equipment and architectural lighting, opened its new Kingsford office in the fall of 2011. The center, measuring some 23,000 gross square feet, houses about 100 employees, primarly for engineering and administrative work.

In achieving LEED certification, OIdenburg Group made a choice to dedicate “a lot of effort and cost” to meeting green standards, said Tony Meeuwsen, project manager for The Boldt Co. of Appleton, Wis., the main contractor.

Ken Kasten, project manager/estimator for Boldt, outlined some key features:

– Site disturbance represented 12 percent of the project’s footprint, meaning 88 percent of the site.

– Potable water use has been reduced by 35 percent through high-efficiency plumbing and fixtures.

– Water efficient landscaping is in place, eliminating the need for permanent irrigation systems.

– Energy cost savings of 27 percent will be realized through mechanical system innovations and construction design.

– Seventy-seven percent of the project’s on-site generated construction waste was diverted from landfills.

– Recycled content represented 20 percent of construction materials. Regional materials represented 24 percent of the overall total.

– Low-emitting materials have been used for paints, coatings and flooring systems.

– More than 80 percent of the regularly occupied spaces have natural daylight.

The Kingsford center, built and equipped at a cost of nearly $6 million, is also a showcase for Oldenburg’s Visa Lighting division. The center’s frosted-glass north frontage, visible from Evergreen Drive, displays altering colors for occasions or seasons.

Bicycle racks, lockers and showers are among its employee-friendly features.

The new facility replaced Oldenburg’s former Lake Shore engineering headquarters at 900 West Breitung Ave. in Kingsford.

Jim Anderson’s email address is janderson@ironmountaindailynews.com.