COUNTING TO ZERO: INTERFACE INC. GEARS UP FOR 2020

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2013-04-26

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Interface Inc., a global leader in carpet manufacturing, is at the forefront of industrial environmental sustainability. Two decades ago, the company set an ambitious goal to completely eliminate its negative environmental impact by 2020. The company has made great strides, but this last stretch will be its most difficult. In a resource intensive business, Interface is looking for ingenious ways to further improve its energy efficiency and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

Kyle I, the company’s original manufacturing plant, requires a retrofit in order to match the innovation of the processes and products that it houses. I analyzed monthly use rates and prices of electricity and natural gas at the plant from 2009 through 2012. I also looked at climate data, including recorded daily temperatures, for LaGrange, Georgia, a manufacturing hub south of the company’s Atlanta headquarters. Taking into consideration internal and external conditions at the plant, I calculated the energy savings of a new roof.

My calculations show the potential of a bio-based phase change material to transform the plant from a relic into a responsive building that harnesses energy resources. A successful retrofit would dramatically reduce natural gas use and related emissions at the plant and could act as a model for the pioneering company.

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Blackford, Blakely (2013). COUNTING TO ZERO: INTERFACE INC. GEARS UP FOR 2020. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6917.


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