New Manufacturing Center
Share this...

Wausau Window and Wall Systems’ efficient new manufacturing center and offices, opened in late 2008, were designed by Somerville, Inc. Architects, Engineers and Construction Services and was LEED®-Silver certified in 2009 through the LEED® Green Building Rating System™. Neenah, Wisconsin-based construction manager Miron Construction Company provided leadership through the involvement of several LEED AP project staff members.

Other design features and construction practices contributing to this LEED-Silver facility included:

The energy control system allows the plant operations’ director to shed electrical loads from the comfort of his desk when the local utility company notifies him of peak demand periods. This not only allows Wausau to avoid costly peak charges, but also lowers electrical use during peak demands, possibly preventing the need to start up additional generators.

Enhanced commissioning followed approximately 10 months after occupancy ensuring building systems were functioning as intended, benefiting energy, maintenance and operational efficiencies and contributing to employee productivity, health and well-being.

Spectrally selective Viracon VRE and VE glass

Viracon’s spectrally selective architectural glass products combine low exterior reflectance with solar control to reduce glare and maximize daylighting benefits.

Viracon’s VRE glass options, also referred to as “hybrid” low-e coatings, contribute to sustainable building design in both appearance and performance with:

  • A crisp, neutral exterior appearance
  • Two-way vision under varying light conditions
  • As low as 15% interior light reflectance
  • As high as 59% visible light transmittance
  • Exceptional Solar Heath Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.23 for VRE19-46.

Viracon products helped curtainwall and window systems exceed ASHRAE 90.1-04 performance pre-requisites of the LEED Version 2.2 Energy and Atmosphere EA Credit Category.

To learn more about Viracon’s architectural glass products suited for green building design, please visit

More resources and information:

Thermal barrier Wausau window and curtainwall frames

Sub-zero Wisconsin winter temperatures and a full southern exposure in summer months called for window and curtainwall framing that was up to the challenge of LEED Energy and Atmosphere EA Credit Categories.

For our own facility, Wausau selected 4250 Series fixed and project-out awning windows, configured in tall, continuous strips for natural daylighting and fresh air in office areas.

Thermal barriers provide condensation resistance at expected Relative Humidity levels, and reduce conductive heat loss.

Exterior sun shades block solar heat gain at high summer sun angles, and re-direct visible light further into open plan office areas.

To provide all of Wausau’s employees with a direct connection to nature, the facility provides windows spaced at 16-foot intervals along the walls of the manufacturing area. All the windows that face into the manufacturing area from the office feature a double laminated window system to minimize noise from manufacturing processes.

Linetec fluropolymer paint finishes will provide years of beautiful protection in a color scheme featuring complementary “Steel Sandstone” and bright accent “Quaker Red.”

Dependable Tubelite entrances and storefront integrate seamlessly with Wausau SuperWall™ to create striking and functional lobby fenestration.

Recycled and regional content

Recycled and regional materials were used throughout the project to earn credits in the LEED Materials and Resources MR category. These included:

  • Fabricated steel from LeJeune Steel Company,
  • Concrete supplied by Lewis Construction using fly ash and slag byproducts,
  • Durable Spancrete insulated precast concrete wall panels,
  • Award-winning Turnstone® Groupwork™ office furniture and accessories from Steelcase
  • GreenGuard®-certified AIS DiVi interior frame and panel systems,
  • High-performance Orion Lighting components, and of course,
  • Recycled aluminum window and curtainwall framing materials from Wausau.

Natural landscaping and storm water management

Site planners interwove drives and parking areas with wetlands to protect the natural habitat and earn LEED Sustainable Sites SS 5.1 and 5.2 credits – and give associates panoramic views of the surrounding Wisconsin woodlands. Miron Construction left much of the site in undisturbed condition, and protected sensitive areas from run-off.

Water use reduction goals of LEED Water Efficiency WE 3.1 and 3.2 were surpassed, in part by incorporating drought-resistant plantings. Care-free fine fescue grass avoids the need to mow.

Retention ponds hold run-off from roof areas, parking and drives to settle solids and other potential contaminants, as well as limiting the volume of water flowing off the site, meeting the goals of LEED Sustainable Sites SS 6.1 and 6.2.

Bicycle racks, locker rooms with showers, and prime parking areas for fuel-efficient vehicles encourage Wausau employees to continue choosing alternative transportation (LEED SS 4.2 and 4.3) and enjoying healthy lifestyles.

Low-flow plumbing fixtures

Water use reduction goals of LEED Water Efficiency WE 3.1 and 3.2 were surpassed, in part by low-flow plumbing fixtures.

Zurn urinals with low-flow Sloan® Royal® Optima® high-efficiency flush valves use only one pint of water per flush, less than one-half that of conventional fixtures.

For toilets, dual-flush Sloan® Ecos™ sensor-operated flushometers are microprocessor-controlled to conserve water, yet ensure sanitary conditions. Water volume is based on the time users remain in the effective range of the light beam sensor. Operation is fully ADA-compliant.

High-efficiency HVAC

Optimization of facility energy usage delivers value to Wausau, earning LEED Energy and Atmosphere EA credits. Somerville, Inc., Rohde Brothers, Inc. and the other members of the design team worked tirelessly to select and integrate efficient HVAC systems and components.

Even in cold Wisconsin winters, boiler use is minimal during operating hours, thanks to waste heat recovery from three Quincy Compressor QSI and QGV water-cooled air compressors.

More than 80 Trane GEH water-to-air heat pumps are fed by variable frequency drive Bell and Gossett high-efficiency pumps.

Optimal energy consumption and year-round comfort to enhance associate productivity were validated through comprehensive energy modeling and compliance with ASHRAE 90.1-2004.

White roof

Firestone TPO white membrane keeps a roofing expanse in excess of 300,000 square-feet within a few degrees of ambient air temperature on hot summer days. Conventional black roofing would experience surface temperatures as much as 40 °F hotter.

Lower roof temperatures will make factory employees more comfortable and productive in hot summer months, reduce cooling costs, and extend the life of the roof, thereby reducing landfill.

In and around urban areas, white roofs reduce “heat island effect,” the creation of a micro-climate with temperatures 2 °F to 10 °F higher than nearby rural areas, caused by densely-packed buildings and paved areas. Elevated temperatures increase peak demand for energy, air pollution, and illnesses related to heat.

Tri-level lighting with high-performance lamps and ballasts

Windows and curtainwall are finished materials, often the first to arrive at the job site. Wausau factory associates need exceptional illumination to inspect, machine, fabricate and glaze these finished materials. This puts a premium on lighting performance, in order to meet LEED Energy and Atmosphere EA requirements.

In both office and factory areas, Orion Lighting systems include three separately-controlled sets of Sylvania Octron Ecologic™ high-efficiency T8 lamps, for incremental adjustment of artificial light and reduction of waste heat generation. According to need and location, occupancy and photometric sensors switch off one or more sets of lamps.

Highly-polished Lithonia parabolic luminaires ensure that an illumination level greater than 60 foot-candles is maintained consistently across critical areas. Advance Transformer Optanium® high-efficiency, instant-start, electronic ballasts allow for tri-level functionality without long delays in lighting level adjustment.

Insulated overhead doors with air curtains

With the constant activity of raw material receipt and shipment of finished product nationwide, overhead dock doors that open and close quickly save energy, especially during winter months.

High velocity Mars air curtains help ensure occupant comfort, reduce energy costs, and keep dust and insects out of the manufacturing environment.

When closed, upgraded insulation in Overhead Door Corporation 591 ThermaCore Series door panels reduces heat loss, contributing to LEED EA goals.

Construction waste recycling

Miron Construction can be very proud of on-site recycling efforts, to earn LEED Materials and Resources MR 2.1 and 2.2 credits. Through coordination with Waste Management of Wisconsin, nearly 80% of site waste was recycled during the course of the year-long construction.”

Separate dumpsters were set aside for:

  • Cardboard – Ground up and used in new packaging products.
  • Wood – Chipped for use in landscaping mulch.
  • Concrete – Broken up for crushed aggregate fill.
  • Metals – Sorted and recycled - Steel and aluminum are valued highly in multiple applications.
  • Gypsum Board – Used for on-site soil amendment.