JohnsonDiversey, Inc.

File Type: Free Content, Case study
Release Date: January 2007
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Johnson Diversey

Fast Facts

Address: Sturtevant, Wisconsin
Company/Developer: Liberty Property Trust
Project Specs: Build-to-suit
Project Type: Warehouse/Distribution
Square Feet: 552,000

Project History: As a leading manufacturer of environmentally friendly commercial cleaning products, JohnsonDiversey required that their new building encompass sustainable development practices from the project’s outset. The primary justification for the project resulted from transportation and labor savings associated with the consolidation of five smaller exisiting facilities into a single, optimized distribution center located between the main production facility and the major outbound highway in the tenant’s supply chain. The project was completed on time and under budget.

Commitment to Sustainability

Liberty Property Trust has been called “the poster child for commercial green developement” by Sandy Wiggins, a director of the U.S. Green Building Council.  Liberty is building according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards to develop facilities which are environmentaly responsible, incredibly economically efficient to operate and healthy places to work.  In 2006, Liberty earned the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Award for Corporate Leadership.  Liberty has over 3.8 million square feet of LEED projects completed or under construction.

Internally, Liberty has greened operations throughout their more than 20 regional offices in the U.S. and U.K., has established a green training program for the entire property management staff and has implemented a Green Property Management Guide for property managers and building technicians.

Green Features 

Economic Analysis

  • Financial incentives for this project were provided through the state energy program, Focus on Energy, and the local utility, WE Energies.
  • The Focus on Energy program was expected to provide an incentive of $68,160 based on the energy savings as compared to the Advanced Building Benchmark baseline for the project.
  • The WE Energies program provided a design incentive of $14,530, shared equally by Liberty and JohnsonDiversey and is expected to provide an additional incentive of $75,298 for overall energy performance compared to the Wisconsin COMM 63 baseline building.
lobby of Johnson Diversey

Site Sustainability/Materials Use

  • The site was selected to be close to bus and regional rail lines.  A place to secure bicycles and men’s and women’s showers are provided.
  • The warehouse was designed with a white TPO roof to help reduce the solar heat gain within the building, thereby reducing the internal summer heat gain and increasing worker comfort and productivity.  Also, the use of the white TPO roof reduces the office heat gain and reduces the HVAC equipment load during the cooling season.  On a larger scale, the white surface of the roff reduces urban heat island effect, a natural generation of heat from the sun as it shines on dark colored surfaces.
  • To promote biodiversity, open space has been provided in an amount nearly three times that of the building footprint.  This open space provides habitat for vegetation, which in turn provides habitat for local wildlife.  Over 70 percent of the project site has been restored using native and/or adaptive planting.
  • To limit disruption and pollution of natural water flows, a regional pond is employed to remove pollutants from runoff from impervious areas, prior to the water reaching the receiving stream.
  • Forty percent of the total products that were installed within the facility contained recycled content.  Of those materials, 12 percent contained post-consumer content and 34 percent contained pre-consumer products. 
  • To reduce the environmental impact of transportation, the project insured that 70 percent of the materials installed were locally produced and extracted with a 500 mile radius of the project site.  Over 60 percent of the regionally produced and extracted materials noted above came from a distance of 200 miles or less.
  • With 964 tons of waste generated during construction, the company  recycled 941 tons.  Essentially, 97 percent of the total construction waste was recycled.  In addition, 12,130 tons of bottom-ash was reclaimed from a local landfill and used under the building in place of regular gravel.
inside the warehouse of Johnson Diversey

Energy Efficiency

  • The building will use over 40 percent less energy than a building designed to minimum standards. This was achieved by focusing on the large energy uses in this building type (lighting, battery charging and HVAC) with general improvements in all other areas. Insulation levels were increased above the code minimums to R-13 in the exterior walls and R-19 in the roof.
  • Energy efficiency was achieved through T5 fluorescent high-bay lighting in the warehouse and T5 volumetric lighting in the office.
  • The lighting in the office space, warehouse aisles, common areas and staging areas is controlled by occupancy sensors.  One-third of the fixtures along the perimeter bay are controlled by a photocell to reduce the artifical lighting level when daylight through the clerestory windows is sufficient. The HVAC design required increasing the cross sectional area of the filter section to reduce the velocity of the airflow, resulting in a lower pressure drop and associated energy use reduction.
  • Onsite renewable energy was not viable on this project, but the tenant decided to offset their energy related emissions by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits for 35 percent of the building’s energy use.

Water Efficiency

  • The use of water conserving toilet fixtures (1.28 gpf), waterless urinals, 1/2 gallon per minute aerators on all faucets and lavatories and low flow showerheads help the project exceed 50 percent water savings as compared to a baseline calculation.
  • The waterless urinal features a biodegradable solution in lieu of an exchangeable cartridge system to further reduce waste.
  • The landscaping does not require permanent irrigation which eliminates the use of potable water or other natural surface or subsurface water resources available on or near the site.
  • Most of the selected plantings are native to the Midwest. Much of the front area will be landscaped using native meadow grasses rather than mowed, non-native turfgrass.  Large open spaces in the back that won’t be visible will be seeded with a no-mow fine fescue to avoid the need of weekly mowing and chemical use. 


  • The largest green industrial building in the nation.
  • The company took 520 times more waste out of the landfill than they put in.
  • Battery charging - one of the largest loads in the facility - is accomplished through the emerging technology of high-frequency charging instead of the standard SCR charging methods.  HF battery charging has a significantly higher power factor than SCR charging which results in less power overall for the facility and reduces the peak demand.