DAYTON, Tenn.—Nokian Tyres Inc. has earned some gold for going green.
The solar-powered administration building at Nokian Tyres' North American production facility recently received LEED v4 (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Inspectors highlighted the administration building's innovation in design, energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality as key drivers of the high certification level, Nokian said. Design innovations include solar power, low-emitting building materials and a high level of natural lighting throughout the facility.
Nokian's attached production facility already earned LEED v4 Silver certification. The company is hiring nearly 150 workers there in the first half of 2021.
"This achievement is another proof point in our efforts to make high-quality tires that protect drivers and the environment," Dayton factory operations director David Korda said. "LEED v4 Gold certification is a testament to our team's hard work carrying out Nokian Tyres' core value of sustainability at a life-driven workplace."
A bank of solar panels anchored in the parking lot provides power to the 26,000-sq.-ft. administration building and generates energy for a portion of the production process. The three-megawatt panels can generate approximately 4,000 megawatt-hours of solar energy each year, which would be enough to power more than 500 homes.
There are more than two acres of freshly installed greenspace in front of the building. Nokian said it prioritized employee welfare when it designed the administration building. In addition to offices and meeting spaces, the facility includes a workout area, mothers' room, canteen and a sauna. Open-concept work areas inside the building "fuel the company's collaborative culture," and outdoor courtyards allow office employees to work outside when weather allows.
Nokian Tyres opened the Dayton factory in 2019 and is ramping up production there, with full capacity of approximately four million tires per year expected once ramp-up is complete. The factory will decrease delivery lead times to North American customers and allow the company to tailor its product mix to the needs of drivers in the region, Nokian said.