Adaptive reuse project bringing new opportunities to one of America’s most impoverished communities
BUFFALO, New York – Viridi Parente, Inc., a developer of innovative battery technology that can be safely installed and operated in nearly any environment or location, is increasing its space on its 42-acre green tech campus to meet robust demand for its safe battery technology solutions. The company is working with Alberici Constructors to add 70,000 square feet, expanding its total research lab, assembly, office, and production space to 190,000 square feet. It also integrates automation features such as robotic welding technology and a vertical lift management system throughout the manufacturing space.
“The transition from fossil fuels to safer, quieter energy sources is gaining momentum, and Viridi Parente is leading the way,” said Jon M. Williams, CEO of Viridi Parente. “Demand for our Green Machine mobile construction and industrial machinery solution has never been greater, and our Volta energy storage solution for residential, medical, commercial, and industrial applications is about to break all the traditional market entry barriers. We hope this expansion is the first of many as we continue developing new options for safe, quiet, reliable energy sources.”
Viridi Parente is located in an urban 850,000-square-foot facility originally constructed in 1923 by GM as its first manufacturing facility outside of Michigan. It was previously occupied by American Axle & Manufacturing before the company abandoned it in 2007.
The site was purchased in 2008 by Williams and renovated from a fossil-fuel-powered plant into a solar-powered facility, making it a model adaptive reuse project and a fitting representation of Viridi Parente’s production of sustainable energy products that displace traditional fossil fuel generation.
Viridi Parente engaged Alberici Constructors of St. Louis, Mo. for the expansive project. Converting this almost 100-year-old facility into a state-of-the-art manufacturing space required leveraging a skilled builder with automotive and manufacturing experience.
“We are excited to partner with Viridi Parente on this innovative battery technology facility. Our team brings decades of automotive and manufacturing industry expertise to this project that will enhance production capabilities and quality for our valued client,” said Aaron Walsh, Alberici general manager, automotive market.
“SSOE is excited to apply our specialized lithium-ion battery plant design expertise to this project as Viridi Parente looks to revolutionize the future of distributed energy and in a way that is both economically viable and environmentally friendly. We look forward to ensuring the design of the facility supports these same core values through innovative design solutions that are both sustainable and cost-effective”,” added Nicholas Bryan, PMP, project manager with SSOE Group, an architecture, engineering, and construction management firm that is working with Alberici Constructors on the project.
The expanded space includes 30,000 square feet for lab and assembly space and an additional 40,000 square feet for increase shipping and receiving capacity. The company currently occupies 120,000-square feet of the campus facility with the following:
- 60,000 square feet of battery and machine assembly space featuring automotive-grade QA/QC, a fully integrated assembly process, and an industry-leading flexible assembly platform
- 20,000 square feet of office and lab space, including a dedicated state-of-the-art battery testing lab for life cycle cell and module testing, destructive cell testing, thermal testing, and R&D
- 40,000 square-foot-shipping and receiving warehouse
“This campus was an economic engine for the community over the last 100 years. It ushered in the industrial revolution in Buffalo and the Northeastern United States. With this came jobs, communities, families, and prosperity,” Williams said. Viridi is working to usher in the technological revolution that will bring prosperity back to 14215 and the Northeastern United States for the next 100 years.”
In addition to Viridi Parente, the campus is occupied by eight other tenants, including green tech companies and numerous nonprofits and community organizations. Located in zip code 14215, one of America’s most impoverished communities, Viridi Parente’s site is a strategic base for nonprofits working to improve the quality of life for surrounding residents. As part of the company’s commitment to engaging with the community, organizations such as Catholic Charities and the Buffalo Peacemakers are also housed on the campus. These groups provide residents with access to critical resources that meet their basic needs as well as education, skills training, and job opportunities.
Viridi Parente deploys safe battery technology into applications that have been historically dominated by fossil fuel energy sources. The company’s architecture for its Green Machine mobile energy solution for the industrial market and its Volta Energy Products energy storage system for industrial, medical, commercial, municipal, and residential users is the only design in the market that can be safely installed and operated in nearly any environment or location. The company’s 42-acre campus, a former GM manufacturing facility, is bringing green jobs and workforce training opportunities to one of the nation’s most impoverished zip codes while also serving as a model of how adaptive reuse projects can spur the economy and revitalize communities.