Kohler’s new global corporate communications building is certified LEED Gold. Photo courtesy of Kohler.

Media members toured Kohler’s new global corporate communications building at the recent Kohler Editors Conference 2012 in Kohler, Wis. The conference brought together 19 media members from across the country for two days of roundtable discussions, breakout sessions and product overviews hosted by Kohler executives.

The building, which merged all Kohler-based corporate communications associates from four different locations under one roof, opened in June and earned U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification in November. Kohler partnered with architecture and design firm Gensler on the 79,000-sq.-ft. layout that is divided into an open-space office area and a photo/video studio and houses approximately 180 employees.

It features Kohler water-efficient plumbing products, which, according to the company, will save an estimated 330,140 gallons of water per year, as well as energy-efficient heating and cooling systems (including the use of radiant floor heat in some areas). The building has computer-controlled outdoor air intake monitoring so 30% more outside air is brought into the building than required by code.

A white roof makes effective use of sunlight and heat reflection, which helps reduce air-conditioning system load and lowers run times to save energy and greenhouse gas emissions. Thanks to an integrated design process, the building uses approximately 18% less energy each year compared to a standard building of the same size and location.

The storm water management system reduces or eliminates water that leaves the site, allowing dirt, dust and other unwanted contaminants to collect in a setting pond, which prevents contamination problems and recharges the aquifer.

Extensive metering of natural gas, electricity, water and sewer uses allows for detailed tracking by area, time and systems. All information feeds into a computerized monitoring and management system to allow building operation analysis and, when needed, direct maintenance.