Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Guinness, Sierra Nevada Become First Two Breweries to Receive LEED Platinum Certification

Guinness and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. earned LEED Platinum Certification for
their new brewhouses which feature water and energy efficiency
systems that promote sustainability.

Earlier this year, Guinness and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. earned a LEED Platinum certification for their recent building projects. For Guinness, it became the first major brewery in the world to receive the distinction; for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., it was the first in the United States. The LEED Platinum certification is the highest distinction the U.S. Green Building Council awards to construction projects that focus on sustainability, energy and water efficiency, and environmental quality.

Guinness received the certification for its fourth brewhouse located in Dublin, Ireland. The building features an energy recovery system and a hybrid refrigeration system. Low-flow water fixtures are installed throughout the building with a rainwater capture system, low-energy HVAC systems and generous parking spices for bicycles and fuel-efficient vehicles. These features have allowed the brewhouse to cut thermal energy needs by 33% and water needs by 14% - a significant change for an industry that requires such copious amounts of energy and resources.

The international mammoth, famous for its dark stout and vintage charm, also launched an industry partnership called the U.S.. Glass Recycling Coalition which seeks to increase glass bottle recycling.

"From the conception phase, it was determined that environmental concerns would be considered in the design and build, and in the ultimate operation," Michael Wilson, global environmental sustainability director for Guinness, said in a recent press release.

Sierra Nevada's eco-friendly building includes almost 2,200 photovoltaic solar panels and uses microturbine technology to convert methane captured from an onsite wastewater treatment plant into electricity. The building also has a rainwater collection system and insulation designed to keep temperatures stable and maximize natural light. During construction of Sierra Nevada's new brewery, 81% of waste was diverted from landfills.

Sierra Nevada, an independently owned craft beer brewery, says sustainability has been important to their company from the beginning.

“He [Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.] didn’t have boatloads of capital to waste. He would sell bottles, and then go out and collect those bottles and refill them. Electricity and water were closely monitored," Cheri Chastain, sustainability manager of Sierra Nevada, said in a recent press release.

Both breweries plan to implement green construction for future projects. According to both sustainability directors, the consumer of the future cares more about environmental responsibility, and they aim to deliver those standards to their consumers.

For more information on LEED certification, visit Zack Academy's LEED homepage. For more information about the United States Green Building Council, visit their homepage.

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