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Method Unveils Details For Chicago Site

April 1, 2014

Method has revealed more details about its new production facility in Chicago’s historic Pullman community. The design, by William McDonough + Partners, was unveiled at an event in Chicago with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The development marks the company’s first US-based production facility and will showcase the company’s dedication to sustainability as it builds the first LEED Platinum manufacturing facility in its industry.

“So often, in the first industrial revolution, factories were dirty,” said architect and sustainability leader William McDonough. “We have these images of factories as gritty buildings with smokestacks—facilities that no families would want in or near their neighborhoods. Method is dedicated to clean in as many ways as possible. This factory is a clean factory. The energy will be clean. The production will be clean. The products are designed to meet the standards of the Cradle-to-Cradle Certified Program, which means that they are as clean as Method can make them. The products themselves help consumers have beautiful, clean homes. Method’s new manufacturing home will use clean energy, water and materials to create innovative household products. The manifestation of “industrial hygiene” at this scale is beneficial to communities; it provides jobs and it is embodied by a facility that is a delightful neighbor—your kids can play safely here. Entrepreneurial companies like Method are modeling a new, clean industrial model for our country. It’s a genuine pleasure to work with them.”

Method aims to eventually run this factory entirely on renewable power. Solar photovoltaic tree-like structures will generate energy and provide shade for cars parked underneath while solar thermal panels will provide hot water for factory processes. The team is focusing on utilizing materials that are safe for human and ecological health using the Cradle-to-Cradle Certified protocol. These innovations are intended to enable the building to help restore, heal and support the surrounding habitat while also stimulating the neighborhood’s economy by bringing in an estimated 100 manufacturing jobs. The building’s integration with the surrounding environment extends well into the community, with its emphasis on pedestrian connectivity and proximity to mass transit options.

The building features a transparent south wall to provide an abundance of daylight and visual exposure to the outdoors and serve as a metaphor for Method’s corporate transparency initiatives. This transparency also highlights Method’s dedication to the local community, providing a window into the factory’s daily operations.

Due in part to the unique architectural facets that make the facility so sustainable, Method plans to provide public tours to showcase its manufacturing processes within an environmentally responsible context.

The company has recently received certification through the Cradle-to-Cradle Certified Program (at the Gold Level) for 75% of its product line from the Cradle-to-Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
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