HSINCHU, TAIWAN: AU Optronics Corp. announced that its G8.5 fab located in Houli of Central Taiwan Science Park has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum Certification by US Green Building Council (USGBC), becoming the world's first LEED Platinum-certified TFT-LCD plant.
Following the recognition of the LEED Gold certifications of its first G8.5 fab in Taichung of Central Taiwan Science Park and the solar module plant in Tianjin, China, AUO's persistence in promoting the concept of green and energy-saving designs from the source stage of fab construction has brought its innovative green competitiveness to the next level and garnered the ultimate acknowledgement for green buildings.
AUO's G8.5 fab in Houli is the world's only LEED Platinum-certified plant, and also the largest green fab in the world. Currently, most LEED-certified buildings are commercial and governmental structures. There are only eight high-tech facilities in the world that have obtained LEED certifications, among which three belong to AUO, including one Platinum and two Gold Certifications.
"It is our great honor for AUO's G8.5 fab in Houli to be able to stand out as the world's first LEED Platinum-certified high-tech plant," said Paul Peng, AUO's Executive VP of Display Business Operation. "AUO not only obtained full scores in the energy and water efficiencies sectors of the LEED Platinum evaluation, but also scored impressively high in the innovation sector. These outstanding achievements are accredited to our diligent and perseverant team, who thoroughly inspected and studied all energy demands, including site construction, production, facility operation and equipment system in order to discover more possibilities for energy conservation in the fab, and then, with the right attitude of fear-no-change, designed new systems and adjusted manufacturing methods for energy efficiency optimization, bringing AUO to reach a new green pinnacle."
Dr. Kuei-Peng Lee, consultant of AUO LEED project and Professor of National Taipei University, observed that any change or adjustment of production in a high-tech facility is liable to chain reactions, and therefore poses potential risks to its owner. However, at AUO the acquired accomplishments were constantly challenged boldly by its members for better and higher green purposes. This is undoubtedly the most remarkable aspect during the evaluation process for the world's first LEED Platinum Certification.
To meet the stringent criteria of LEED Platinum Certification, AUO constantly competed against itself for breakthroughs. Compared with ASHRAE 90.1 Standard adopted by LEED, AUO's G8.5 fab in Houli reduced energy consumption by a total of 49.7 percent, which was 11.7 percent higher than the other LEED Gold-certified fab of the same generation. AUO continuously devoted itself to the planning and designing of optimized solutions, such as installing "digital electricity and water meters" on an e-platform to increase usage efficiencies; constructing customized dual pressure compressed air systems that could save as much as 40 million kWh of electricity annually when compared with single pressure air systems; and employing optimized energy-saving systems with the industry's highest efficiency air conditioning units to replace uniform energy-saving scheme.
In addition to energy-saving of the fab, AUO has been proactive in planting trees to reduce carbon emissions. The Company has planted over 34,000 trees in the Houli site; high-efficiency, mercury-free LED lights are widely used in the fab area; green and carpool parking spaces and exclusive bike spaces are offered; on the dormitory rooftop of the Houli site, 30kW solar panels are installed to support a portion of power demand, with its annual electricity generated sufficient to supply around 320 households.
When benchmarked against LEED scales, it is estimated that around 600 million kWh of electricity will be saved each year with the implementation of all the energy-saving measures, and 400 thousand tons of carbon emissions reduced, the equivalent effect of the afforestation of around 100 New York City's Central Park.
For water resources management, AUO's fab in Houli boasts a high water recovery rate of 90 percent; rainwater collected in the 600-ton tank from the fab rooftop and water from the condensation of air conditioning systems provide water for plants; and toilets also function with 100 percent recycled water. It is estimated that 13 million tons of fresh tap water can be saved annually, enough to fill 6,500 standard swimming pools. Aside from the recycle systems, water inter-use system (WIS) is also designed so that water could be circulated among different equipments without having to recycle first.
Approximately, 300 thousand tons of fresh tap water can be saved annually which is equivalent to the capacity of around 150 standard swimming pools.
As a green global citizen, AUO will continue to operate on a sustainable basis and apply the LEED model to all its future facilities. It is hoped that through experience sharing on designs from the source stage and collaboration with the supply chain and clients, a wondrous visual world could be revealed before the consumers while preserving the beauty and nature of the Earth.