Rockwell Automation Global Headquarters earns US Green Building Council LEED Certification

Rockwell Automation has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for significantly reducing the overall environmental impact of its landmark corporate headquarters in downtown Milwaukee.

The 2.1 million square-foot building is the second-largest existing structure in Wisconsin to receive this certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Rockwell Automation invested $3.2 million to upgrade its corporate headquarters, starting in 2001. LEED is the nation’s pre-eminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

A comprehensive, 12-year sustainability program at Rockwell Automation headquarters, which includes combined office, laboratory, and former manufacturing space resulted in the certification.   The project included physical retrofits and sustainable operational practices implemented by Rockwell Automation to reduce the environmental footprint of its corporate headquarters.

“The sheer size of the existing buildings was the most challenging – and rewarding – aspect of the program,” said Steve Strzok, Rockwell Automation facility manager. “Every part of the space had to meet LEED specifications for an operations and maintenance rating – including indoor air-quality standards, and ‘green cleaning’ procedures and products used by custodians.” 

Water consumption inside the buildings was reduced by half with the installation of state-of-the-art, sensor-activated faucets and other lavatory fixtures. Rockwell Automation employees also made significant strides in recycling everything from cardboard to old office refrigerators, diverting 82% of the facility’s solid waste from landfills in 2012.

Employees were responsible for the team being awarded additional LEED points for using alternative transportation for travel to and from work, such as carpooling and bike riding. Rockwell Automation was recently awarded the 2013 Commuter Champion Award from the Wisconsin Partners for Clean Air.

The crowning feature of the environmentally-friendly facility is its green roof – the largest private-sector roof in Wisconsin – that helps reduce the energy required to heat and cool the building, and annually retains 1.2 million gallons of rainwater that otherwise would runoff into the city sewer system and eventually into Lake Michigan.

“As the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and information, one of our core missions is helping customers adopt smart, safe, sustainable manufacturing solutions,” said Jeff Wolf, manager, global workplace services at Rockwell Automation. “Sustainability is also a critical factor in our success as a socially responsible corporate citizen. We’re proud that the U.S. Green Building Council has recognized our accomplishments.”

Wolf said the company’s goal is to renew LEED EB: O&M certification for the corporate headquarters every five years, and make continuous advances in building operations and maintenance.