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Environment-friendly features add up in the company’s Corporate Communications Building

KOHLER, Wis. – November 12, 2012 – Strategically tucked within natural surroundings, the Kohler Corporate Communications building showcases a list of energy-efficient, water-saving and occupant-friendly features—a list long enough to warrant gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The one-story, 79,000-square-foot building, which opened in June 2012, at the Kohler Co. headquarters in the Village of Kohler, Wis., houses 180 corporate communications associates in an open, collaborative workspace and a 32,300 square-foot photo and video studio. From its inception, the building was intended to be an environmentally sustainable structure. When choosing the site, the project team considered groundwater flows and natural wetlands, and how to orient the building to take advantage of natural lighting.

From there, the building includes several sustainable features and processes:
• Low- or no-VOC-emitting paint flooring systems and other interior features
• Specified energy-efficient heating/cooling and lighting systems
• Company's own water-efficient plumbing products
• Natural landscaping
• Sourced building materials harvested and manufactured within a 500-mile radius (for which, Kohler received an exemplary score)

Inside, the building provides associates with natural lighting courtesy of large windows surrounding the open workspace and fresh air from the controlled ventilation system. Recycling and compost containers help associates reduce waste, and motion-detecting lights in conference rooms save energy.

"We paid special attention to every element that went into this building, always considering how we could add more environmental details with every decision," said Mike Andrews, Senior Staff Project Manager, whose design team worked closely with Gensler, a Chicago-based architectural firm specializing in sustainable building design.

The Corporate Communications building is the company's second gold-level LEED certified building, its first in Wisconsin. In addition, the campus's Environment, Health & Safety building received silver-level LEED certification for operations and maintenance for existing buildings in 2009.

"This achievement really speaks to the fact that this isn't a one-time deal for Kohler Co., but shows our long-time commitment to the environment. It won't be our last," said Joe Azzarello, Senior Staff Engineer – Sustainability and LEED Faculty at Kohler Co.