About Our Sparks, NV Facility
575 Vista Blvd Sparks, NV 89431
NOW Foods Commitment to Sustainability
NOW’s Sparks facility is a green facility built to adhere to LEED program specifications, which supports NOW’s focus on environmental and sustainability initiatives. NOW is actively seeking LEED silver-level green certification for this new facility.
The Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program is an internationally recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators with a concise framework to identify and implement practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
LEED certification provides third-party verification that a building is designed and constructed according to the following metrics: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
NOW Foods chose to adopt LEED as a framework for its development strategy – pursing a Silver level certification for its new facility in Sparks, NV.
The building, which will be certified under the LEED for New Construction v3 2009 Rating System, includes the following sustainability measures:
Site selection and construction management are important components for a project’s sustainability. The NOW Foods facility employs the following measures:
- Project site was selected for urban infill, located nearby various basic community resources
- Preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles– in addition to on-site bicycle storage, showers and changing areas for company employees – to promote alternative forms of transportation
- A white “cool roof” was used to reduce the Head Island Effect (phenomenon of increased temperatures in microclimates constructed with dark paving and roofing materials that trap and absorb heat during the day)
- Measures to mitigate the disruption and pollution of natural on-site water flows
Buildings are major users of our potable water supply. The goal of this credit category is to encourage efficient use of water, inside and out, to reduce the burden on municipal water supply.
- Dual-flush 1.6 / 1.1 gallon per flush (gpf) toilets, which saves apprx. 20% over standard 1.6 gpf toilets
- “Pint flush” urinals, which saves apprx. 80% over standard 1.0 gpf urinals
- 1.6 gallon per minute (gpm) showers, which save nearly 40% over standard 2.5 gpm showers
- 1.6 gallon per minute kitchen sinks, which saves apprx. 40% over standard 2.5 gallon per minute sinks
- Native, drought-tolerant landscaping with a high-efficiency irrigation system, which saves more than 405,000 gallons of water annually
The NOW Foods Sparks facility uses approximately 30% less potable water than a conventional office space with standard fixtures. This will result in an estimated savings of more than 63,320 gallons of potable water per year.
Energy and Atmosphere
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings use 39% of the energy and 74% of the electricity produced each year in the United States.
NOW Foods Sparks facility has implemented the following energy-efficiency measures to reduce its negative environmental impact.
- High-efficiency interior and exterior lighting systems, including daylight responsive controls
- High-efficiency HVAC systems, including economizer cycle capabilities
- Rooftop grid-connected photovoltaic system to provide approximately 2% of the building’s estimated annual energy use
- Energy measurement and verification system designed into the buildings network to provide ongoing accountability of energy consumption over time
The above strategies yield design calculations indicating that the NOW Foods Sparks facility saves approximately 24% energy to a comparable building built to minimum code standards.
Materials and Resources
During both the construction and operations phases, buildings generate a great deal of waste and use many materials and resources.
The NOW Foods Sparks facility employed the following strategies to preserve materials during the construction process and in daily operations:
- Recycling stations throughout the building spaces allow employees to separately collect plastic, paper, cardboard, metals and glass.
- Diversion of apprx. 83% of all construction waste from landfills to recycling centers during the construction process.
- Priority was given to building materials that were sourced locally and composed of recycled content
- Natural wood building materials were provided by sources that practice environmentally responsible forest management and are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
Indoor Environmental Quality
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans spend about 90% of their day indoors, where the air quality can be significantly worse than outside. The Indoor Environmental Quality credit category promotes strategies that can improve indoor air as well as providing access to natural daylight and views and improving acoustics.
NOW Foods approached its indoor environmental quality needs in the following ways:
- All adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings were selected with low- or no-levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Each private office includes individual control of HVAC systems
- A comprehensive Indoor Air Quality Management Plan was followed during construction and a building “flush out” period was provided prior to occupancy
- Smoking is prohibited on the premises
- Building owner and management has developed a Green Cleaning Policy to reduce exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminates, which adversely affect air quality, human health, building finishes, building systems and the environment