Sartorius Stedim Biotech, a leading international equipment provider for the pharmaceutical industry, has now been awarded the highest certification for ecological and sustainable building by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its new facility in Yauco, Puerto Rico. According to the LEED certification system, an internationally recognized green building program, the new building was certified as “LEED Platinum.” As a result, Sartorius is the only company worldwide to have a LEED Platinum-certified manufacturing facility for the biopharmaceutical industry. LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
Sartorius invested 20 million U.S. dollars in the new production building, which was officially opened in the summer of 2012, after approximately one year of construction. Covering an area of 5,000 square meters, or some 55,000 square feet, the new eco-friendly building complex provides space for two new cleanrooms for filter and bag manufacture, labs and offices. From the beginning, ecological aspects played a role in the project; special attention was given to conserving water and energy resources. The new building complex in Yauco has been designed to save approximately 85% of water consumed in comparison with conventional facilities. It uses harvested rainwater and air-handling unit condensate for cooling cleanrooms and supplying gray water to facilities, as well as for irrigation purposes. The building’s climate control technology, special building materials, and perforated metal fins and diaphanous screen walls that reduce sunlight contribute to energy savings. In addition, Sartorius Stedim Biotech covers approximately 10% of its energy needs for the new building with a photovoltaic system, which is installed on the factory roof.
“We are very proud to have received this prestigious rating for our new facility in Yauco from the USGBC organization. It acknowledges the green building measures that Sartorius has taken to ensure protection of the environment. Our innovative building sets new standards and proves that careful planning enables ecological and economical concerns to be reconciled,“ stated Volker Niebel, member of the Executive Committee of Sartorius Stedim Biotech.
Sartorius has been represented since 1982 in Puerto Rico by its wholly owned production facility in Yauco, where it employs some 240 people. The new facility in Yauco is one of the three major building projects undertaken over the past year to expand manufacturing infrastructure and to support the further growth of the Sartorius Group.