Pictured (L to R):  Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri;  John White Jr., president and CEO of Taco; and Cranston Mayor Alan Fung.

Taco held a LEED certification ceremony on Earth Day at its new facility in Cranston, RI.  John White Jr., president and CEO, welcomed special guests Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri and Cranston Mayor Alan Fung.

The company completed a substantial plant renovation and expansion, taking measures to reduce its “carbon footprint.”

The project that won the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is a single-story warehouse addition that occupies 60,000+ sq. ft. and provides 12 loading dock bays, 30-foot high clearance for storage racking systems, a quality lab, administrative office space, a demonstration mechanical room for the snow-melt system, and facilities for the manufacturing plant’s coolant and metal chip recycling systems.

Sustainable site:  The urban location is close to public transportation, including three bus lines. Before construction began in April 2006, the project site – which once housed a gas station and oil storage facility – was thoroughly decontaminated.  Today, storage racks for bicycles are provided near the employee entrance. 

Water efficiency:  A landscaped area is a visual buffer from the street to the loading dock area.  Drought-tolerant plants were selected to avoid the need for irrigation systems.

Energy and atmosphere:  The new cogeneration plant provides about one-third of Taco’s electrical requirements through microturbines that use waste heat from the electricity generation, producing both chilled water and hot water for the HVAC system, greatly reducing energy consumption.  Further energy savings are achieved by the use of a Taco “LoadMatch” system and the installation of a solar panel array to supplement the plant’s domestic hot water requirements.  The snowmelt system in the loading bay area eliminates the use of salt, chemicals, the need for plowing and increases safety.

Materials and resources:  Construction materials were chosen to maximize the use of recycled content.  During construction, waste materials were sorted into separate dumpsters, with a goal of recycling or salvaging more than 75% of the construction waste. 

Indoor air quality:  Low-VOC construction products and materials improve the inside environment.  Large windows in several areas maximize the presence of daylight. 

Innovation and design:  The cogeneration plant and mechanical areas double as training and demonstration areas for Taco’s sustainable heating and cooling system products.  There is also a climate-controlled vestibule for truck drivers to wait in to reduce air pollution.