An Analysys if the Green Building Concept as it relates to the Semiconductor Industry

Tiffany, Dawn A.
(University of Wisconsin, Stout)

Introduction and Statement of the Problem

The Semiconductor Industry has experienced extraordinary growth within the last decade. New manufacturing facilities and the renovation of fabrication plants has become critical to survival in this industry of rapid change. It is well known that new fabrication facilities can cost more than a billion dollars to set up and equip, and they may be obsolete inside of three years (Turley, 2002). At this fast and steady pace, the renovation of existing facilities and the construction of new fabrication plants will be in the form of phenomenal cost to the semiconductor industry. . .and to the environment.
According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB, 2000), buildings currently account for one-sixth of the world’s fresh water withdrawals, one-quarter of its wood harvest, and two-fifths of its material and energy flows. The exact amount of contribution the semiconductor industry makes to these statistics is unknown, but at this rate of consumption coupled with the rate of growth, the semiconductor industry can surely have an impact on our natural resources. The implementation of green building construction techniques has become an important consideration in protecting the future of our environment. “Green Buildings are those that are designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource efficient manner (CIWMB, 2000).”
Through careful design considerations of new fabrication facilities the effects to the environment can be minimized. Elements effecting the consumption of resources can be designed into the building energy and HVAC systems, material use, and waste stream systems in order to reduce resource loss. Although initial construction costs have been found to be higher in green building construction, the reduction of costs in operating and maintenance expenses has indicated a substantial return on investment. This savings then provides the opportunity for financial resources to be reallocated. Businesses are fast realizing that a green building not only has environmental benefits, it also improves a business’s effectiveness and competitiveness (Stretch, 1997). Green building design can also have an impact on the shareholder and stakeholder value of the company. The reduced cost in operation and maintenance and the rewards of increased worker comfort and productivity can surely be rewarding to the shareholder. The stakeholders’ concerns can be easily addressed through the reduction of worker health and safety liabilities and the improved corporate image seen by the decrease in the environmental impact of operations (BSR, 2002). Given the conditions the semiconductor industry has seen in recent years, these issues may be viewed as the key to future success and continuation in what has become a very competitive market.


The purpose of this study is to explore the potential use of Green Building Construction in the Semiconductor Industry. The efficient use of energy, water and other resources will be discussed as well as other aspects associated with green building concepts. The issues of employee comfort, design, building materials and costs, and savings related to the integration of the green building concept will be reviewed.


1) Conduct literature reviews of current publications related to the processes involved with green buildings.

2) Conduct personal interviews with those in the Semiconductor Industry associated with building processes.

3) Conduct personal interviews with Environmental Organizations to evaluate the impact green buildings have on the environment.

4) Conduct a cost benefit analysis on traditional construction methods versus the use of green building techniques.


1) Turley, Jim. Future Fab, When transistors shrink to the near atomic level, unintended side effects of this molecular tinkering appears. Chip making gets weird. PC Magazine, September 03, 2002, Vol. 21, Issue 15

2) California Integrated Waste Management Board. Green Building Basics.

3) Stretch, Adian. Design for the Environment and the Bottom Line. Assessment Journal, 10738568, Jan/Feb 97, Vol. 4, Issue 1

4) Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), White Papers, Green Building Design.

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