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Caterpillar Winston-Salem Manufacturing Facility Awarded LEED® Silver Certification

In Numbers

  • Winston-Salem, NC
  • 850,000 s.f.
    Square Footage
  • 16 months

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded Caterpillar Inc.’s newly constructed Winston-Salem truck-axle facility LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction) silver certification, earning it two distinctions. It is Caterpillar’s first LEED silver heavy manufacturing facility in the U.S., and at 850,000 square feet, it’s the largest LEED silver certified manufacturing facility in North Carolina.


LEED is a third-party certification program and a recognized benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance sustainable buildings.


“Our top priority is safely producing quality products that are quickly delivered to our global customers,” said Hans Haefeli, vice president of Caterpillar’s Advanced Component and Systems Division, which has responsibility for the Winston-Salem plant. “Being able to say we’re doing our job using more sustainable methods is good for our community, employees, customers and shareholders. This facility uses 25 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than comparable buildings without the improved sustainability features.”


Ranked second nationally for sustainable construction for manufacturing plant construction, Gray, headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky was the design-build firm for the Winston-Salem project responsible for engineering, design, construction and the LEED certification process.


“In today’s world of high energy consumption and rising energy prices, it is increasingly important for world-class manufacturers like Caterpillar to be recognized for energy efficiency and sustainability in their industry,” said Stephen Gray, CEO of Gray. “By achieving LEED Silver certification, we believe Caterpillar is paving the way for other heavy industrial manufacturers to follow suit.”


LEED recognizes performance in five key areas. At Caterpillar’s truck-axle facility, which opened in 2011, silver certification was earned for:


Sustainable Sites: Leaving more than 65 percent of space open and unpaved; Protecting, restoring and creating new habitat in more than 80 percent of the available open space; Providing parking for bicycles; Exceeding stormwater quantity and quality management standards; Minimizing heat by using light concrete paving and a white membrane roof; Using exterior lighting that minimizes light pollution.


Water Efficiency: Installing low flow fixtures to reduce potable water consumption by more than 45 percent; Utilizing low-maintenance, local and adaptive plants in landscaping that do not require irrigation.


Energy & Atmosphere: Installing an innovative geothermal system that utilizes geothermal wells to heat and cool the facility; Generating energy for water heating using rooftop solar panels; Helping prevent ozone depletion by installing air conditioning units that use non-chloroflourocarbon refrigerants; Using energy efficient mechanical equipment; Utilizing sky lights to improve lighting while reducing electricity demand; Reducing energy losses through superior wall insulation.


Materials & Resources: Diverting 90 percent of all construction waste from local landfills; Utilizing recycled materials in 34 percent of building construction materials; Saving on transportation because 51 percent of construction materials were from within 500 miles of the project; Choosing wood harvested from Forest Stewardship Council certified sources in almost all of the facility.


Indoor Air Quality: Exceeding required quantity of fresh air while minimizing energy loss; Using low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) materials throughout the building interior; Ensuring that indoor air quality is maintained; Allowing occupants to adjust lighting levels according to the task being performed.


Including the Winston-Salem facility, Caterpillar has 13 facilities around the world that have earned LEED certifications from USBGC.  In addition, a Cat Remanufacturing facility in Singapore has been certified by a European sustainability organization, which is similar to USBGC.


About Caterpillar:

For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent.  With 2012 sales and revenues of $65.875 billion, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives.  The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services and Progress Rail Services.  More information is available at:


About Gray:

Gray is a nationally ranked design-build firm with offices throughout the United States; it provides customers with programming, planning, site analysis, engineering, architecture, construction and equipment installation services. Gray’s market experience includes manufacturing plant construction, automotive plant construction, distribution plant construction, food and beverage plant constructionretail facility construction and hospitality facility construction. Gray currently has several large manufacturing projects, mostly located across the South, that are underway or recently completed including: a Michelin Earthmover tire manufacturing plant in Starr, S.C.; a Caterpillar Inc. manufacturing facility near Athens, Ga.; a Siemens gas turbine plant in Charlotte, N.C.; and a Whirlpool plant in Cleveland, Tenn. If you have manufacturing plant construction needs, please contact Phil Seale, Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Market at



    March 25, 2013

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.

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