Continental Tire debuts new sustainably-focused U.S. headquarters in South Carolina

Continental Tire debuts new sustainably-focused U.S. headquarters in South Carolina

The building's 840 solar panels are capable of offsetting up to 25% of its total energy consumption.

Continental Tire the Americas (Continental) officially opened a new sustainably-designed facility in Fort Mill, S.C. March 21 with local and state officials, key building project representatives, and corporate social responsibility partners. The 90,000-square-foot building, which sits on 33 acres in northern Lancaster County, has a capacity for 350 employees and is designed and built for future expansion potential.

“Another great moment for Continental and for the State of South Carolina,” said Jochen Etzel, CEO Continental Tire the Americas. “Who would have imagined when we moved to the Palmetto state in 2009, that we would have invested over $800 million in our facilities across the state? The U.S. is a strategic growth market for Continental and particularly for our tire business.”

Brian Carnes, Lancaster County council vice chairman, (right) presents a proclamation naming March 21 Continental Tire the Americas Day in the county to Jochen Etzel, CEO, Continental Tire the Americas.

Other speakers included Brian Carnes, Lancaster County council vice chairman; South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster; Harry Lightsey, South Carolina secretary of commerce; and Tim Rogers, former CFO of Continental Tire the Americas.

Continental has invested over $800 million in facilities across South Carolina.
Pictured are (left to right) Harry Lightsey, South Carolina secretary of commerce; Sivilay Xayasaene, Gresham Smith project interior designer; Brian Carnes, Lancaster County council vice chairman; Jochen Etzel, CEO, Continental Tire the Americas; South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster; Tim Rogers, former CFO of Continental the Americas; Steve Piermattei, Edifice project contractor; and Jeff Delsordo, project architect.

Rogers said planning for the building began in 2017, and site prep began in 2021, with over 12 million pounds of rocks removed from the area. He said that involving employees, managers and executives from the project inception allowed every aspect of the facility to be purposefully created, from the selection of the architect to the details of the colors and furniture. He said the building is surrounded by a wooded area planned for future outdoor walking and biking trails.

“This new structure is so much more than the typical office building,” added Etzel. “In the past, the office was a place you had to come to. Our objective for this building was to create a workplace destination that you want to come to.”

Rogers said the layout of the building was designed to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification. He added the project incorporated key LEED building standards including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The open office layout incorporates natural materials installed by local artisans that creates a unique and collaborative environment. The building utilizes LED lighting for cost savings and contains recycled content carpet tiles and low VOC paint, he said

The building’s 840 solar panels are capable of offsetting up to 25% of its total energy consumption.
Details such as the wood-paneled ceiling and the giant Continental sign adorning the wall were put in by hand.

On the exterior, the parking area includes 10 EV charging stations that may be used for electric vehicles or motorcycles for free. A total of 840 solar panels are located between the roof and the parking area. These panels contribute up to 25% offset of the building’s total energy consumption. Rainwater harvesting will be utilized for irrigation of the plantings and lawn area. Rogers said the company hopes the facility will achieve net-zero energy use in the near future

Etzel said that Continental considers safety to be a top priority for employees, visitors and workers at its facilities. With over 135,000 person-hours invested during construction, there were zero recordable incidents during that time.

“I want to personally recognize the countless hours by all of the trades who made this vision a reality.  On behalf of the executive team and the entire Continental family, I want to again thank the project team, the building partners, the county, and the state of South Carolina,” continued Etzel.

People from all over the area were invited to the grand opening. The planning involved employees, managers and executives to allow many aspects of the facility to be built purposefully.
Planning for the building began in 2017, and site prep began in 2021, with over 12 million pounds of rocks removed from the area.
Lounge spaces for employees were considered around the facility.
Numerous meeting rooms of various sizes populate the new facility.
Collaborative spaces of various sizes are located on all three levels of the headquarters. Several quiet areas are also plentiful around the building.
The view into the lobby area.
The facility was intentionally designed to let in as much natural light as possible.

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