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Bayer headquarters to get green updates

| Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bayer Corp. will spend $17 million to convert two of its headquarters buildings in Robinson into environmentally friendly space featuring more natural lighting, open-area work stations, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and lighting using Bayer products.

The improvements are focused on two buildings that house about 825 of the 1,500 employees at the chemical and pharmaceutical company's campus along the Parkway West. The renovations should be completed in June 2013, spokesman Bryan Iams said Friday.

"Innovation is part of Bayer's DNA, and we want our North American headquarters to reflect that," Bob Kumpf, chief administrative officer of the Bayer MaterialScience unit, said in a statement.

Bayer will use its own MaterialScience products in the project, Iams said. Bayer's clear polycarbonate, which allows sunlight to filter through the workplace, will be used in the work stations. The polycarbonate will be used on the lenses of light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures. Polycarbonate is commonly used to make CDs and DVDs for music and video.

In addition, a Bayer polyurethane "liquid solid" substance that provides greater ergonomic comfort will be incorporated into seats for workers and visitors.

Bayer is renovating the headquarters space that was designed many years ago, Iams said. The company originally came to Pittsburgh in 1954, when it formed Mobay Chemical Corp., the former occupant of the 400-acre Robinson site.

Bayer also will move about 400 employees who work in information technology in an office on the southern side of the Parkway West. They will relocate to the headquarters complex to improve efficiency, Iams said.

In conjunction with its efforts to renovate the office space, Bayer plans to pursue U.S. Green Building Council gold-level certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that verifies that designs meet energy-efficiency and environmental standards.

Bayer joins a list of the region's corporations, government agencies and organizations that either have received LEED certification or are pursuing it, said Aurora Scharrard, innovation director for the Green Building Alliance on the South Side.

Pittsburgh has 58 buildings that are LEED-certified, which puts it in 15th place in the nation, Scharrard said. The owners of another 60 projects in the city were pursuing LEED certification as of January, she added.

Additional Information:

Green buildings

Among the region's buildings that are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified for energy efficiency and meeting environmental standards are:

• Bakery Square, Nabisco Co. Building, East Liberty

• Children's Hospital clinical services building, Lawrenceville

• Consol Energy Center, Uptown

• David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown

• Giant Eagle Market District supermarket, Shadyside

• Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Duquesne

• Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Welcome Center, Oakland

• PNC Firstside Center, Downtown

• Three PNC Plaza, Downtown

• WYEP radio station, South Side

Source: Green Building Alliance, South Side

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