Doosan Bobcat’s commitment to innovation, excellence, and environmental responsibility is on display at its recently renovated and expanded North American corporate headquarters in West Fargo, ND. The construction equipment manufacturer’s revamped campus received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, one of only 12 buildings in North Dakota to earn this distinction. It is the second Doosan Bobcat building in the state to earn LEED recognition: The Doosan Bobcat Acceleration Center in Bismarck received LEED certification in 2018.
With a goal of minimizing environmental impact and facilitating an environment of collaboration and productivity, Doosan Bobcat set its sights on LEED certification from the start of the headquarters project. The company engaged Fargo-based architectural firm Shultz + Associates and Land Elements (now Confluence) to guide the design and LEED certification process.
“As a leader in the industry with high standards for quality and innovation, we are extremely proud to receive LEED Gold certification and have our headquarters reflect those values,” said Mike Ballweber, president of Doosan Bobcat North America. “Our goal is to provide a space that operates sustainably and supports our employees with a healthy and inspiring workplace.”
Sustainability highlights of Doosan Bobcat’s LEED Gold certification include:
- Upgrades to geothermal HVAC and installation of ventilation monitoring systems for indoor environmental quality.
- Decreased energy consumption by 35 percent through high performance building systems operating methods and light automation.
- Use of green power renewable energy to offset 53 percent of the building’s energy costs.
- Implemented a new irrigation system for all landscaped areas and low-volume interior fixtures, resulting in a 41 percent reduction in water use.
- Incorporated a walking path and open green space with native prairie grasses and trees to encourage public use and pedestrian activity
- Utilized recycling practices to divert 77 percent of onsite generated construction waste from the landfill and utilized recycled materials for 12 percent of building materials.
“We continue to make investments in our people and facilities,” Ballweber added. “This award represents our commitment to serve as a community partner and manage our environmental footprint where our employees, dealers and customers live and work.”
Starting From The Ground Up
Doosan Bobcat’s original West Fargo headquarters was built in 2000, and irrigation technology has evolved quite a bit since then. Energy and water use reduction and efficiency is important to the company, and today’s modern irrigation systems make it possible to be much more efficient than ever before.
As part of the expansion, the team installed a new irrigation efficient control system, which comes equipped with a climate-change sensor for schedule adjustments due to weather and ground conditions. The sensor calculates evapotranspiration and makes changes to its programmed run time to modify the actual irrigation run time for the day. Overall, the new system resulted in a 41 percent reduction in water use to date.
With the modernization of the irrigation system also came the opportunity to evaluate landscaping choices to maximize water savings and green space. The company worked closely with Shultz + Associates and Land Elements to select native grasses and trees that are hardy and can withstand harsh North Dakota winters. These grasses also have deep root systems that are especially efficient at water retention, thus mitigating increased water usage.
Additional outdoor enhancements include light-colored exterior paving and roofing materials to reduce solar heat gain, green parking islands with tree shading, and high-efficiency LED parking light fixtures, which minimize light trespass to neighboring properties.
Creating A Greener, More Collaborative Work Environment
The theme that guided the renovation and expansion work within the headquarters building was both simple and powerful.
“We really wanted to provide increased opportunities for chance encounters,” said David Shultz, president and principal architect at Shultz + Associates Architects in Fargo. “This was a clear goal of Doosan Bobcat based on the company’s broader mission to encourage innovation and collaboration within the workplace.”
Thanks to a prior project, Shultz + Associates was familiar with the company’s facilities goals. The firm also worked on the design of the Doosan Bobcat Acceleration Center, which received LEED silver certification, so taking that experience and applying lessons learned to the corporate headquarters project made for a smooth transition.
For the headquarters building, the firm wanted employees to feel the integration of indoors and outdoors. Co-working spaces are unassigned, allowing employees the flexibility to work as their day dictates. Open concept spaces allow for quick meetings and informal gatherings, while more secluded rooms provide privacy for phone calls and concentrated work.
In addition to increased open space, Doosan Bobcat was very intentional in access to sunlight and outdoor views of the campus green space, with 95 percent of work areas having a line of sight to exterior views. Other employee wellness updates included a 0.6-mile outdoor walking path, sit-to-stand desks, exercise workstations, and more readily accessible stair locations.
Achieving LEED Gold Certification
To achieve LEED certification, a project must meet certain prerequisites and earn points in several areas that address key aspects of green buildings, including location and transportation, sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation. Administered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), this international ranking system is the industry standard in sustainability. Achieving this high distinction requires commitment to sustainability, great teamwork and dedicated partners.
“Our goal from the beginning was LEED certification, and keeping this in mind helped ensure we were documenting all aspects of the project thoroughly, from beginning to end,” said Amanda Hagen, principal architect at Shultz + Associates.
With these new modern offices, highly efficient and sustainable systems, and integration with the indoors and outdoors, employees have a workplace that is healthy, eco-friendly, and one they will feel proud of for years to come.
“We share this accomplishment with our design, building and landscaping teams, as well as everyone at Doosan Bobcat,” said Nate Gemar, Marketing Operations Manager at Bobcat. “The success of this project is due to the support of company leaders and our partners, all of whom are committed to advancing sustainability and the environment in which we work.”
Nationwide, Doosan Bobcat continues to invest in its facilities, employees, and the communities in which it operates. In 2019, the company invested $26 million to expand its production facility in Litchfield, MN; $11 million in Statesville, NC; and more than $17 million at Gwinner, ND.