Sustainable Wafer Fabs – LEEDing the Way
(Texas Instruments, Dallas, TX)
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In 2003, Texas Instruments began planning and designing its Richardson fab (RFAB) using the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System, which is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED emphasizes five categories in its holistic approach to design: site selection, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. RFAB significantly reduces energy and water use, and it cost 30 percent less to build than traditional facilities. The reduction in utility expenses means lower operating costs for the facility – approximately 20 percent less than a traditional facility would pay each year. Design challenges included energy modeling, working with vendors on source load reduction, and taking advantage of mini-environments for air filter coverage and personnel smocking reductions. RFAB’s mechanical systems include a split chiller plant, spray humidification, and heat recovery on the chillers. Optimizing their individual designs significantly reduced the number of boilers needed and their associated emissions. TI is also examining LEED-EB (LEED for existing buildings) to help improve the sustainability of its existing sites.