The solar-powered Visitor Center Building at Nokian Tyres’ Spain Test Center has earned LEED v4 Platinum certification for green building leadership. Platinum is the highest LEED certification level. The company has previously announced LEED v4 Gold and Silver certifications of its administration and production facilities in the US.
Nokian Tyres’ 300-hectare Test Center is situated in Santa Cruz de la Zarza, a small town about one hours’ drive south of Madrid. The Test Center includes 10 test tracks and the Visitor Center. Inspectors highlighted the Visitor Center’s innovation in design, energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality as key drivers of the high certification level.
”I wish to thank our wonderful team, both in Spain and in Finland. The result of the team’s work is this stunning, beautiful and unique building”, says Juha Pirhonen, director of technology projects at Nokian Tyres. “Platinum is an excellent result on LEED v4 certification. The bar has been set high, and we received good points especially on very good energy efficiency and energy performance.”
Solar panels have been installed for the whole test center and 21% of the electricity will be utilized in the Visitor Center building. Innovations in design included sustainable wastewater management with stormwater used for irrigation and installation of low-flow water fixtures, which reduce water consumption.
The company has also preserved 25 hectares (about 61 acres) of land for wildlife protection in the vicinity of the Test Center. The area has a nesting house for hawks and owls and water elements for birds, which will be surveyed during the next three years. Holm oaks and other trees are also planted on the site, the company said.
Together with local universities and co-operation partners, Nokian Tyres participates in cultivating and studying guayule, a possible new raw material for eco-friendly tires. The plantation is managed by local farmers.