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Columbia Business Monthly

The Business Narrative: Sustainable Design and Development

Mar 22, 2024 09:11AM ● By Donna Walker

Continental Tires Opens New Facility in Lancaster County

(Photo provided by Business Wire)


Continental Tire the Americas officially opened a new sustainably designed facility in Lancaster County, South Carolina, on Thursday.


The state-of-the-art, 90,000 square foot building, which sits on 33 acres in northern Lancaster County, has capacity for 350 employees and is designed and built for future expansion potential.


“Another great moment for Continental and for the state of South Carolina,” said Jochen Etzel, CEO Continental Tire the Americas.


“Who would have imagined when we moved to the Palmetto State in 2009, that we would have invested over $800 million in our facilities across the state. The U.S. is a strategic growth market for Continental and particularly for our tire business. It is with the dedicated support and assistance of the Lancaster County Economic Development Corporation and the State of South Carolina Department of Commerce that this facility is built steps away from the current headquarters building.”


Involving employees, managers, and executives from the project inception allowed every aspect of the facility to be purposefully ideated: from the selection of the architect to the details of the colors and furniture. Inspired by nature and incorporating both timeless and modern design elements, the building allows natural light to flood the interior year-round.


“This new structure is so much more than the typical office building,” Etzel said. “In the past, the office was a place you had to come to — our objective for this building was to create a workplace destination that you want to come to.”


From the site layout to the building designed to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification, to the incorporation of energy-saving and efficient materials, the project was carefully planned to be an example of Continental’s sustainability ambitions.


The project incorporated key LEED building standards including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The building utilizes LED lighting for cost savings and contains recycled content carpet tiles and low VOC paint.


On the exterior, the parking area, optimized for a decreased heat signature, includes 10 EV charging stations that may be used for electric vehicles or motorcycles. A total of 840 solar panels are located on the roof and in the parking area. These panels contribute up to 25 percent offset of the building’s total energy consumption.


The project was designed by Gresham Smith and constructed by Edifice.


Continental's tire division employs more than 56,000 people worldwide and has 20 production and 16 development sites.

Ronald McDonald House Appoints Three New Board Members

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas announced the appointment of three new members to its board of directors. The addition of these individuals strengthens the organization's leadership team and reinforces its commitment to supporting families in need.


The newly appointed board members are:


  • Drew Aughtry, senior vice president, HomeTrust Bank
  • Hector Sepulveda, chief operating officer, Walk Humbly LLC
  • Josh Kale, chief operating officer, Clayton Construction

“We are thrilled to welcome Drew Aughtry, Hector Sepulveda, and Josh Kale to our board,” said Marti Spencer, CEO and executive director of RMHC of the Carolinas.


“Each individual brings unique skills, expertise, and a passion for our mission. Their diverse backgrounds will be invaluable as we continue to expand our programs and support more families during their time of need.”


Ronald McDonald House Charities provides a home away from home for families with critically ill or injured children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. Through its network of chapters across the country, Ronald McDonald House offers lodging, meals, and support services to ease the burden on families facing medical crises.

SCbio Receives Townes Award from SC Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics

SCbio, the economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing and growing the life sciences industry in South Carolina, was awarded the prestigious Townes Award by the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) earlier this week.


SCbio was honored this year in recognition of the organization’s achievements in building a leading-edge life sciences industry in South Carolina that creates high-quality STEM jobs and improves the health, well-being, and upward mobility of people in South Carolina and around the world.


SCbio President and CEO James Chappell accepted the award during the 30th annual Townes Award Celebration at the Washington Place in downtown Columbia.


“The life sciences industry is providing a foundation for economic prosperity for South Carolina and a multitude of career opportunities for many generations of students,” said Chappell.


“SCbio is thrilled to receive the Townes Award and is committed to celebrating our state’s life sciences industry and its innovators whose achievements bring recognition to the Palmetto State.”


SCbio and its members support GSSM by providing student research opportunities in industry-leading laboratories and career paths for graduates once they enter the workforce.


“GSSM is proud to honor and partner with SCbio,” said GSSM President Danny Dorsel.


“The impact that SCbio is having on our state serves to augment the transformative educational opportunities that GSSM provides to students across South Carolina. In teaching students from 3rd grade through high school, GSSM teachers are keenly aware of the growing interest and complexities in the life sciences.”


Representing the fastest-growing segment of South Carolina’s economy, SCbio and its more than 180 members are accelerating the growth of the life sciences and adding value to promote the state’s workforce, policy, marketing, entrepreneurship and business development. The annual economic impact of the life sciences segment exceeds $25.7 billion in the Palmetto State.


Since 1993, GSSM has presented the Townes Award to honor individuals, businesses, or institutions that have transformed South Carolina and the world. Dr. Charles H. Townes (1915-2015) was a native South Carolinian who received the Nobel Prize in 1964 for his pioneering research in quantum electronics leading to the invention of the laser.

City Wide Facility Solutions Raises $580,000 for GiGi’s Playhouse in Charleston

City Wide Facility Solutions, the commercial facility management company, raised more than $580,000 for GiGi's Playhouse at its annual franchise convention in Charleston.


City Wide's mission is to create a ripple effect by positively impacting the people and communities it supports. Franchisees from more than 100 City Wide franchise locations came together to support the organization, which was selected by City Wide Facility Solutions of Charleston, as part of their ongoing partnership and support of the nonprofit.


“GiGi's plays an important role in supporting the entire Down syndrome community. They provide vital resources for children, adults, and families impacted by Down syndrome,” said Rick Cobden, owner of City Wide Facility Solutions of Charleston.


“I firmly believe in supporting the local Charleston community, and the money raised will have a big impact on helping GiGi's open their Charleston location, which will be their first in South Carolina.”


GiGi's mission is to change the way the world views Down syndrome and to see a world where individuals with Down syndrome are accepted and embraced in their families, schools, and communities. GiGi's delivers on this mission through the delivery of free educational, therapeutic-based, and career development programs.


City Wide Network's “enthusiasm and love for our nonprofit made it clear that City Wide has an internal culture that every organization needs to replicate,” said Nancy Gianni, founder of GiGi's Playhouse.


“The money they raised will go a long way in helping us open our first location in South Carolina.”

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