The green design principles adopted by Intel at its manufacturing campus in Ocotillo, Ariz., have earned the giant technology company a LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.) The certification covers all of the buildings on the site, including the wafer fabrication plants.
Here's why this campus is different from others:
- Independent data from the Semiconductor Industry Association shows that the campus uses about 26 percent less energy than the average.
- This is one of the biggest solar installations in the area, with a large number of solar electricity support structures. The site produces renewable energy certificates that are used by the local utility for its renewable energy regulatory considerations.
- The campus recycles about 90 percent of its solid waste
- Intel has worked with the City of Chandler to divert water from the waste treatment plant to Intel so that only non-potable water is used for irrigation and for most (95 percent) of the plant's cooling tower water needs
- Intel is also dabbling in biofuels. The photo above is of the company's proof-of-concept model for a system that captures boiler emissions, which are used to grow algae that can be converted into biofuel. The test is being conducted by Intel engineers along with students from Arizona State University and the next phase will involve figuring out what percentage of carbon can be "recycled" from the fab using technology such as this.
Here's an Intel video that talks more about the project: