Sonoma, Calif. – Laura Chenel’s Chèvre announced today that it has been awarded LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its new Sonoma creamery, completed in 2011. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the USGBC's rating system for the design and construction of energy-efficient and high-performing buildings. Laura Chenel’s Chèvre is considered to be the first cheese production facility awarded Gold, the second-highest of LEED's four levels of certification.
Gold certification for the creamery is based on green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community for water efficiency, energy use, lighting, waste treatment, materials and design specific to sustainable strategies. These features include:
- More than 1,000 rooftop solar panels, which currently provide up to 80 percent of facility energy use
- Boiler controls with lower emissions, which allow power reductions ranging from 20 to 100 percent, depending on demand
- Energy efficient, electronically monitored lighting installed throughout the facility, along with air controls for heating and cooling
- Reclaimed California old growth redwood panels that line several interior walls, as well as USDA-approved for interior surfaces and non-toxic, low VOC for interior walls
- Interior and exterior building materials containing some portion of recycled content, sourced from local suppliers
- Treatment of liquid waste material generated from milk processing with naturally occurring bacteria in aeration tanks
“We’ve pioneered energy efficiency technology in our Sonoma creamery that ensures the quality of our cheese, the safety and comfort of our employees and our overall cost efficiencies,” says Charles Willard, senior project engineer. “By using less energy and water we save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to healthier working and living conditions for our employees and community. Even with increased production in the plant, energy consumption has decreased by one-third from two years ago,” he adds.
Laura Chenel’s Chèvre began construction on the new creamery in 2009 and moved production from its former location into the new facility in February 2011. “We are committed to quality and innovation in artisan cheese making,” says Marie Giguere, General Manager of Laura Chenel’s Chèvre and sister company, Marin French Cheese. “We built our creamery on a foundation of efficiency and we’ll continue to improve it as new technologies and opportunities become available. We’re invested for the long term in this community, the residents, our workers and a healthy environment.”
“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. “The Laura Chenel’s Chèvre project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations.”
Laura Chenel’s Chevre is owned by Rians, the same family of French cheese producers that purchased Marin French Cheese in 2011. Both companies have been able to invest in extensive expansions, secure ongoing support of community projects and enhance their stewardship of the land while continuing to produce high quality original cheeses.
About Laura Chenel’s Chèvre
Located in Sonoma, California, Laura Chenel’s Chèvre upholds a long tradition of European style artisan cheesemaking. The company uses only the fresh milk from family-raised goats in California and Nevada, an example of its commitment to local farming and craftsmanship of fine goat’s milk cheese which reflects the distinctive regional terroir. www.laurachenel.com
Source: Laura Chenel’s Chèvre