What hygiene has in common with green building is that the two both play essential roles in serving fundamental aspects of human health. For this reason, it makes sense that sustainability would be in the interests of Ohio-based Kutol Hand Hygiene Specialists when scoping out new turf to settle the company’s new manufacturing facility.
Vocally committed to remaining in line with the principles of the “green movement,” Kutol’s sights were set on constructing the building within the finite parameters of the US Green Building Council’s rigorous LEED system. Championing a catalogue that produces an assemblage of eco-conscious products, the brand intended to keep the construction process consistent with those qualities, with the respected assistance of precast, pre-stressed concrete panel manufacturer and constructor Fabcon USA.
“They adopted this philosophy due to the gaining momentum in the marketplace to produce LEED buildings,” says Fabcon sales engineer Mark McSweeney of Kutol’s vision.
The company’s approach was to reduce overall operating cost for the new facility and utilize their green philosophy as a strong marketing tool.” To achieve this, materials had to be carefully considered. Working in collaboration with Cincinnati Commercial Contracting (CCC), Fabcon introduced structural insulated precast concrete wall panels to CCC for the first time. According to McSweeney, “CCC historically had used site-cast for these types of projects,” but quickly adapted to Fabcon’s alternative and found that it effectively pushed the structure further in the direction of LEED territory.
The result ultimately was a LEED Silver certification, no easy feat for a manufacturing facility.
In fact, Kutol’s plant was one of the first manufacturing centers in its industry (janitorial and maintenance supply) to ever attain the accreditation. McSweeney shines a light on precisely which signature Fabcon products were selected and how they were applied. “In evaluating the use of this new facility for Kutol, Fabcon chose to utilize a ‘Hybrid Panel Layout’ to accommodate the proposed openings,” he says. The “hybrid” combines both the 8’ and 12’ sizes of the VersaCore+Green panels. The reason for this, Fabcon project manager Brian G. Hamilton explains, is that “many times it is more desirable to have a wider panel at the dock area so that the opening is contained within one panel rather than across two.”
Meanwhile, “narrower panels worked to fit into the model and the look of the building so it is a benefit to offer both.” The hybrid panels also enabled the team to reduce welding, which amounted to a helpful increase in cost savings. Geothermal heating and cooling also now curbs energy consumption, and other key green features included sensory lights, an internal recycling system, and an incentive program to encourage employees to drive low-emission, high-MPG vehicles.
The success of the facility inspired expansion plans, which are currently underway. The Fabcon team intends to maintain the same design and construction approach they used on the initial building, and if that’s the case, it should take no time at all. Hamilton recounts of their work pace, “we were able to beat the anticipated schedule ultimately allowing our customer to open their doors sooner which in turn helps generate revenue sooner.” Communication is key as the mantra goes, and Hamilton affirms. “From my side of things, this job was successful due to communication. From pre-planning, to manufacturing, to job site performance, to job close out,” all parties involved were routinely touching base. “Nobody was afraid to pick up the phone and discuss issues which really helped make this a successful project.”
The facility’s carbon footprint has improved by 65%.
The Kutol ownership’s endgame was fulfilled—and quantified. For example, McSweeney notes of the new building, the facility’s carbon footprint has improved by 65% and Kutol is enjoying a 100% increase in building volume. And thanks to incorporating the geothermal methodology, utility and operating costs have seen a pleasant decline. “Our ability to provide an insulated panel with a static R-Value of 9.6 that is both cost effective as well as offer accelerated schedules as compared to other wall systems,” Hamilton touts, “makes us very competitive. This combined with the multiple finishes offered makes Fabcon appealing in many markets.”
Kutol’s presence in the market is appealing as well, particularly from an environmental standpoint. A number of products purveyed by the company have been Green Seal Certified and/or USDA BioPreferred. Accordingly, now Kutol Hand Hygiene Specialists is as eco-conscious as their panels.
Contractor: Cincinnati Commercial Contracting
Engineer: Smith Roberts and Associates
Learn more about Fabcon’s Finish Guide: (Download PDF)