INDUSTRY INSIDER | June 13, 2024

Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas Aims to Support a More Viable World

Original Source: AEM

HitachiWhen it comes to actively embracing a move toward sustainable practices, Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas is leading by example.The company’s new sustainable, state-of-the-art regional headquarters facility in Newnan, Georgia, stands as a testament to Hitachi’s desire to do its part to support a more viable world. Spanning 19 acres, it once served as a wheel loader and manufacturing plant for the company. Today, however, it reflects the company’s commitment to sustainability and reinforces its approach to people, excellence, and the environment.

“Our goal was to develop something that would be transformative, inspirational, and sustainable,” said Chris Trogstad, the company’s director of general affairs. “We really wanted to embrace our company’s manufacturing roots in the United States, so we chose the location of an old manufacturing plant and adapted it to represent our ‘second founding.’”

CREATING A WORKSPACE ALIGNED VALUES AND PRIORITIES

The development and construction of the new facility began in 2022, with Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas setting out to create a workspace that connected with its employees and fostered a corporate culture capable of establishing and maintaining a direct line with customers. The decision to move forward with the regional headquarters project ultimately aligned with the company’s overarching desire to further enhance creativity and inspire future growth among employees. In addition, after taking the lead for the brand’s construction and mining equipment in the Americas, the company’s headcount almost tripled, necessitating strategies and tactics to respond to such significant change.

Relying on sustainable practices, Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas chose adaptive reuse principles to guide its efforts to revamp the facility and surrounding grounds. Roughly 75,000 square feet of greenspace ended up being reclaimed from the campus by reconfiguring employee parking areas and eliminating both buildings and concrete. The company also repurposed available wood, concrete, and steel from the site in the following ways:

  • Using over 5,000 cubic yards of recycled concrete repurposed for roadway, fill, and redistribution
  • Recycling more than 40,000 square feet of exterior metal wall panels
  • Reusing approximately 125 tons of steel frame structure
  • Reusing nearly 70,000 square feet of existing concrete slabs
  • Repurposing almost 5,000 square feet of roof purlins and more than 48,000 square feet of old metal roof panels were repurposed as decking for the facility’s new roof.

HitachiAn energy-efficient design is also a hallmark of the new Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas facility. It features Low-E glass that blocks 62% of solar energy while allowing 70% of visible light to pass through it. Skylights and roll-up doors also contribute to natural lighting, integrating the indoors with the outdoors, and an advanced energy management system monitors and optimizes energy consumption and temperature changes.

Additionally, the stairs and carpet throughout the building are made from reclaimed wood and recycled plastics, and the large windows and skylights provide plenty of natural light for Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas employees. And when they want to get fresh air, there is a large green space with outdoor break areas and walking trails, explained Trogstad.

“These features help contribute to a resource-efficient society by saving and recycling resources,” he continued. “One of our goals is to build a society that uses resources efficiently through various initiatives. We encourage the users of our products to strive for those standards and we are leading by example with our new building.”

Ultimately, the new regional headquarters aims to help the company focus on several key growth areas:

  • A robust compact and construction business network that establishes a direct link to the customer in North, Central, and South America
  • Expanding sales of mining excavators for construction and quarry sites in addition to mining sites
  • The creation of operating bases for parts remanufacturing and expansion of the rental business that will also provide the customer with additional support and options

A TEAM EFFORT POISED TO PAY DIVIDENDS

The company’s investment in its new regional headquarters will further help Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas achieve its longstanding goal of maintain an industry leadership position in technology, service, and support. However, even with all that being the case, company officials learned several key lessons when developing and constructing its sustainable facility.

“The construction of a facility this size is truly a team effort,” said Trogstad. “We learned early on that the best way to take on this project was to create committees that enhanced the group ownership and satisfaction of the project. We met regularly and encouraged discussion, which allowed for diverse opinions to be voiced and heard. This ensured that we considered every detail with a diverse approach and as a team.”

Trogstad also noted it was critically important for the company to approach the project with confidence, express that confidence to key stakeholders, and stick to what was a well-conceived and actionable plan over the long term.

“We determined it was worth it to create a well-thought-out plan and conduct the proper needs analysis upfront to avoid unnecessarily wasted time and expenses. This is particularly important when choosing partners. We reviewed multiple firms, both nationally recognized and local firms, and while all options had very notable strengths, in the end, we chose to give back to the local community that we are a part of and chose a local firm for this project,” Trogstad added.

Hitachi TallTHE BOTTOM LINE

Ultimately, Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas goal is to help support a prosperous environment and well-rounded society in the future. Through activities and initiatives like the sustainable regional headquarters project, along other priorities, the company seeks to mitigate the effects of climate change and achieve long-term targets to reduce the environmental burden of its product lifecycle.

“We take these concerns and goals seriously, and we want to contribute toward the safe and sustainable society our parent company, Hitachi Construction Machinery, envisions,” said Trogstad.