By: Jordana Levine
After much debate and analysis, Intel is preparing to open its first green-registered building. The research and development building in Haifa, Israel will cost $600,000 of green investments, which will be paid off in just three years.
The building will follow the Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) rating system, which is a voluntary, consensus-based standard to develop sustainable and efficient buildings. The Intel building is receiving the LEED certification for a variety of technologies that the building is being outfitted with; it will have an environmentally friendly construction process with green materials, natural lighting via an internal patio that distributes light from an atrium, efficient electricity and air conditioning and an irrigation system that uses recycled water only. It is set to open in early in 2010.
Intel hopes that the building in Haifa will lead to more LEED certified office buildings and, ultimately, to Intel’s first LEED certified Fab. A Fab is a semiconductor fabrication plant, meaning it is a factory that fabricates designs for other companies to use as well.
Although Intel has reduced its overall needs for freshwater in the long run, the corporation’s water consumption actually rose by four percent between 2007 and 2008. Intel says this increase is probably because of production growth and the complexity of its new manufacturing processes, which require more water. Although some countries can withstand this strain on their freshwater supply, it could be detrimental to Israel’s fragile water supply, which has to be monitored carefully as it is.
Overall, Intel cut its greenhouse gas emission by 27 percent in 2008, and the company’s Corporate Responsibility Report aims to decrease its carbon footprint by 20 percent from 2007 until 2012. Intel is a strong supporter of green power, having bought over 1 billion kWh of green power each year to fulfill 47 percent of the company’s electricity needs; Intel also built the first solar installations.
In 2009, Intel will invest more than $5 million on over 30 projects to save a minimum of 30 million kWh of electricity each year. The corporation has already targeted energy efficiency and conservation since 2001, saving Intel more than $50 million and 500 million kWh.
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