Ecofibre bags LEED platinum certificate for hemp facility

JRA Architects has announced the first successful LEED platinum certification for a warehouse and hemp facility, presented by the US Green Building Council to Ecofibre’s state-of-the-art hemp processing facility in Georgetown. Ecofibre is known for developing innovative hemp-based products in textiles and composite materials in the US and Australia.

Ecofibre has bagged an exacting design, build and certification process that would normally take upwards of three years was completed in just 18 months, despite some pandemic-related delays in material deliveries. Ecofibre’s 50,000 square foot facility is the first of its kind in Kentucky, a state that has warmly embraced hemp production and processing on the heels of its nationwide approval in the 2018 farm bill, according to a press release by JRA.

“This facility breaks new ground in so many respects, but its proof that modern design principles, strong teamwork and a willingness to innovate will always carry the day. It takes a great team to complete a project like this ahead of schedule, in the midst of a global pandemic,” Marty Merkel, associate of JRA said.

“Kentucky has exceeded our expectations in every respect, from governmental support for economic development to professional experts like JRA and their teammates who guided us through the entire process. This LEED platinum facility is a great objective affirmation of our company’s desire to do things the right way economically and environmentally every time,” Eric Wang, CEO of Ecofibre said.

“From day one, Wang was talking about the importance of energy efficiency and sustainability, applying it to every decision, ranging from the selection of JRA’s proposed design to the discussion of adopting solar power to offset the load from hemp-specific needs like clean rooms. Ecofibre’s enthusiasm for LEED streamlined the decision-making process and allowed us to leverage our energy modelling capabilities effectively and efficiently,” Ralph Whitley, principal engineer at Shrout Tate Wilson, Ecofibre said.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, an internationally recognised green building certification system providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built sustainably with low environmental impact. In pursuit of that certification, the Ecofibre facility’s design incorporates a wide array of resource-efficient technologies, ranging from solar panels and nearly 70 light-channelling solar tubes to geothermal and water capture for flushing in the bathrooms. A rigorous building commissioning process led by Paladin, served to further improve efficiency.

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