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Ryan E. Day


Engineering a Sustainable Future, Part 2

Delta Products’ new U.S. headquarters raises the LEED bar to nosebleed levels

Published: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 18:06

No, they don't manufacture faucets, they don't run a major American airline, and they are not an elite special ops military unit. Headquartered in Taiwan, Delta Products Corp. is a global leader in switching power supply solutions, thermal management solutions, and DC brushless fans. Delta also earns "green" accolades the way Michael Phelps wins Olympic gold medals, so it's just natural that the company's new U.S. headquarters in Fremont, California, is designed to win platinum. LEED platinum, that is.

"Since 2005, all of Delta's new buildings around the world have been built to sustainable standards," says Bruce Cheng, Delta's founder and honorary chairman. "In the past 10 years, we have commissioned the construction and renovation of 21 green buildings and shared our experiences at this year's Conference of Parties, more commonly referenced to as the COP21."

Delta's efforts haven't gone unnoticed. It has been selected as a member of Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for four consecutive years. In 2014, it was ranked by Carbon Disclosure Project on the highest A-level of the Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI), and it's the only organization from nearly 2,000 listed companies in Greater China that made it to the CPLI list. They're like green rock stars looking to top their last achievement. They may have done it with their new HQ in Fremont.

"Our new headquarters facility is designed and built to meet LEED 'platinum' standards with the ultimate goal of being net-zero," says Mike Gazzano, marketing manager for Delta Products. "The platinum standards go far beyond energy usage. In the construction process everything is scrutinized. The materials used, the materials supply chain, and the recycling of construction waste are all considered. Job site cleanliness is also an issue. At one point we couldn't even bring food or even coffee onto the site; it was water only. By all indications we will pass and become Fremont's first commercial LEED Platinum facility."

Gazzano isn't exaggerating one bit. Platinum standards delve into everything from water efficiency and impact on ecosystems to EV charging facilities and access to a variety of transportation options. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels—certified, silver, gold, and platinum—of certification.

"It's quite extensive," admits Gazzano "It's not just a stamp-and-go thing."

Naturally, the project management aspect was equally challenging. Ruth Chao, Delta's general affairs manager, and M.S. Huang, president of Delta Americas, wrangled collaboration between the architect design team of J. J. Pan & Associates, local consulting architects Korth Sunseri Hagey, general contractor Vance Brown, and numerous LEED consultants, among others.

Basically, the entire facility itself is a life-sized testament to the company's overall dedication to environmental sensitivity and also serves as a fully functional showcase of Delta's energy management systems, building automation systems, and data center solutions, as well as EV charging and display and monitoring solutions.

Scale model of Delta's Fremont, California, headquarters facility shows PV panels on rooftops and bio-retention pond on the ground.


Only months old, and the pond is already beginning to function as a filter for storm water runoff.


An army of PV panels stand rank and file, sending an estimated 1,000 MWh of electricity through Delta brand inverters annually. Click here for larger image.


Building automation is handled via one of Delta's own Infrasuite Datacenter stations.


Building vitals are displayed on monitors in a "command control center" style.


The facility's geothermal heating and cooling system uses a ground-source heat pump connected to a loop field of pipes located from 5 ft to 30 ft underground. The pipes cover an area greater than five football playing fields. Heat is transferred to or from the ground to boost efficiency and achieve a 60-percent reduction in energy consumption compared to traditional HVAC systems. In total, there are more than 92 miles of pipe circulating up to 12,000 gallons of water at any given time. Image courtesy of Vance Brown Builders.


Neatly installed piping and ducting keep the spacious work areas comfortable. The ground-source heat pump loops into the building's bidirectional radiant floor and ceiling tubes embedded in the concrete slabs.


The mechanical room handles pumping chores utilizing Delta products. "If the datacenter is the 'brains' of our Americas headquarters, then this is the 'heart,'" quips Delta's marketing manager Mike Gazzano. "Essentially, we have a living breathing building here."


Because what fun would LEED certification be without an inspiring employee atrium and lounge?


Delta EV charging systems are just one perk for employees at the state-of-the-art facility.

In summary, while serving the IT, communications, industrial automation, renewable energy, lighting, power tool, automotive electric vehicle, and other major industries, many of Delta's products and solutions are incorporated into its Americas headquarters building, including:
• Solar photovoltaic (PV) inverters
• Energy-saving variable frequency drives
• Infrasuite Datacenter infrastructure solutions
• Elevator power-regeneration solutions
• Electric charging solutions, including EV chargers and the site management system (SMS)
• Wireless outdoor LED lighting system
• Real-time energy management and monitoring software Delta Energy Online

Part 1 of this series "Ford Motor Co. puts the pedal to the metal on alternative materials" can be found here.


About The Author

Ryan E. Day’s picture

Ryan E. Day

Ryan E. Day is Quality Digest’s project manager and senior editor for solution-based reporting, which brings together those seeking business improvement solutions and solution providers. Day has spent the last decade researching and interviewing top business leaders and continuous improvement experts at companies like Sakor, Ford, Merchandize Liquidators, Olympus, 3D Systems, Hexagon, Intertek, InfinityQS, Johnson Controls, FARO, and Eckel Industries. Most of his reporting is done with the help of his 20-lb tabby cat at his side.