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BMW Motors (with SGL Carbon)

Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Facility

BMW’s future automobiles will contain carbon fiber and composite materials manufactured at this facility, which reduced water use by over 80% and gets 100% of its electricity from hydro-electric power sources.

BMW and the Carbon Fiber Age

BMW is the first automobile manufacturer to use carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) in series production.  Carbon fiber allows vehicles to maintain high levels of safety despite weighing half as much as steel vehicles, in turn reducing fuel consumption and lowering CO2 emissions.

To supply BMW with sufficient volume of carbon fiber, in 2009 the automaker established an exclusive joint venture with SGL Carbon.  The joint venture then set out to plan, design, and build two carbon fiber production facilities.  The first occupied an existing building at BMW’s Innovation Park in Wackersdorf, Germany.

The second would need to support BMW’s goal of a sustainable value chain for its vehicles.

Site Selection for 100% Renewable Energy

Because carbon fiber manufacturing requires heavy energy inputs, BMW wanted its new carbon fiber manufacturing plant to be driven by 100% renewable energy within competitive energy costs.

After searching the globe for a location, BMW’s global site selection team chose Moses Lake, Washington, for its location within the Columbia River basin, the most developed source of 100% renewable hydropower in the world.  This location also gave BMW access to Washington state’s competitive energy costs.

An Advanced Facility for Advanced Manufacturing

BMW prioritized environmentally-friendly design and construction measures for the new facility.  The first two buildings at the complex — an office & warehouse building and a carbon fiber manufacturing building – achieved LEED Gold certification as part of BMW’s emphasis on a sustainable value chain.  The second carbon fiber manufacturing building is also pursuing LEED certification.

Brightworks facilitated the LEED certification process for the office and warehouse building and the first two production buildings, helping the design and construction team set goals, prioritize strategies, and provide quality control on all documentation submitted for final LEED certification review.

The 43,250-square-foot office and warehouse building has a designed EUI of 41.18, saves 165,174 kWh per year, and performs 22.8% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2007.  The building uses no potable water for irrigation and saves 14,650 gallons of domestic water per year, making it 46% more efficient than code.  Additionally, 100% of the wood used in the building is FSC certified.

The 110,380-square-foot carbon fiber production building has a designed EUI of 95.6, saves 7,725,531 kWh per year, and performs 42.67% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2007.  The building uses no potable water for irrigation.  Moreover, 100% of wastewater is conveyed with non-potable water.

The production building 34,730 gallons domestic water per year, making it 83% more efficient than code.  Additionally, 100% of the wood used in the building is FSC certified.

Energy Modeling

Brightworks’ energy model for the second production building on the site analyzed energy efficiency measures and facilitated LEED certification review.

Awards

The Moses Lake carbon fiber production facility won NAIOP Washington’s 2014 Industrial Development of the Year.

Brightworks Sustainability & Advanced Manufacturing

Brightworks is or has been a member of the design and construction teams for the following advanced manufacturing facilities:

  • BMW Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Facility (Moses Lake, WA)
  • Boeing Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Facility (Helena, MT)
  • Nu Skin Innovation Center and Manufacturing Complex (Provo, UT)
  • TC Transcontinental Northern California Printing Facility (Fremont, CA)
  • Tesla Motors Manufacturing Facility (Stockton, CA; Feasibility Study)
  • Trammell Crow Midpoint at 237 (San Jose, CA)
  • Yanbal Cosmetics KEOPS Manufacturing Facility (Bogota, International)

At a Glance

  • Moses Lake, WA
  • LEED Gold