Completed in 2006, our 220,000-square-foot facility in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, houses our North American sales, administration, warehousing, and distribution, as well as our global product development and marketing teams.
Our building is a physical example of our commitment to sustainability. The building was designed with an eye to environmental stewardship and occupant satisfaction, and we continuously strive to operate it more efficiently.
Lots of windows, rooftop clerestories, and an open floorplan mean that almost every employee gets natural light at his or her desk. Skylights provide daylight in our warehouse. Light sensors dim overhead lights when daylight is available, saving energy and money. According to the US Green Building Council, buildings with ample natural light have healthier and more productive occupants in addition to saving energy.
The building was designed to manage all of its stormwater onsite. Native vegetative swales in parking areas, wet ponds, a “green wall” and rooftop infiltration areas collect and filter stormwater that falls onsite, helping to reduce runoff pollution in local lakes and rivers. The features also provide habitat for native species and enjoyable outdoor spaces for employees and visitors.
Employees and their families can work out using state-of-the-art fitness equipment in our showroom. Locker rooms with showers and towel service benefit both on-site exercisers and bike commuters.
To make sure we were operating our new building efficiently, in 2008 we worked with our utility company to evaluate our building systems and make efficiency improvements. Based on this review, we installed de-stratification fans, programmable thermostats, and lighting occupancy sensors, and switched part of our heating system from electricity to natural gas. Since then, our electricity use has decreased 20% without increasing our natural gas consumption.
We use 100% recycled paper in our copiers and printers, as well as paper towels and bathroom tissue with 100% recycled fiber content. We purchase environmentally preferable cleaning products. The appliances in our kitchen and laundry room are Energy Star Qualified. We’re developing purchasing policies that address environmental and social responsibility.
We recycle many of the materials used in our facility, and we are continually looking for ways to improve. For example, we recycle materials such as scrap metal, electric motors, electronics, cardboard, and shipping pallets that we can no longer reuse.