Sustainable Architecture Helps Texas Instruments Save Money
Conserving energy is on the minds of most Americans today. With gas prices skyrocketing, everybody is looking for ways to save energy, which translates into saving money. If it takes $500 to heat your home in the winter, imagine how much it costs to heat a huge factory. Obviously any company building a factory needs to be as frugal as possible. Now, you can learn from their innovations. In a heartening move against resource guzzling habits of big industry, Texas Instruments recently built a "green" factory in a town near Dallas, Texas.
The company had been tempted to build the plant overseas to cut costs, but instead got creative and redesigned the factory's blueprints to save money. It was a huge challenge and seemingly impossible feat for the design team, but it got done. "We have to [approach energy consumption differently].I think you do first have to set an impossible goal. Amazing things happen when people claim responsibility for the impossible," said Shaunna Sowell, the company's vice-president who oversees facilities world-wide.
Many changes were instrumented in building the new factory. Whereas the old factories were three stories, the new factory was redesigned to fit into two stories. More attention was paid to how the factory consumes its resources and short-cuts were adopted. Attention was also paid to the waste coming out of the factory, and now most of it is recycled. Passive solar construction techniques were used so the factory could become more self-sufficient. "Green building is not necessarily about producing your own power with windmills and solar panels. It's about addressing the consumption side with really creative design and engineering to eliminate waste and reduce energy usage--it's the next industrial revolution," said Paul Westbrook, who aided Texas Instruments in building their new factory and has a solar-powered home himself. Texas Instruments expects to save big on energy costs for the life of their new building. Month in and month out, their bills will be low because they designed their building with energy conservation in mind.