Henniges Automotive builds green world headquarters in Auburn Hills

Henniges Automotive, a global supplier of sealing and anti-vibration systems, is building its world headquarters in Auburn Hills.

The four-year-old company that has 11 manufacturing plants, four engineering and technology centers and 4,500 employees in North America, Europe and China is building a 55,000-square-foot office at the Oakland Technology Park at I-75 and University. Construction has begun and the office should be open by June 2012, says Henniges spokesperson Geri Gasperut. The headquarters has 141 employees and anticipates hiring more if anticipated business contracts come through. Henniges' products seal interior compartments of vehicles from water, dust and air leakage and reduce noice, vibration and harshness.

The new building will be LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, It will use materials sourced from as close by as possible, energy efficient lighting, and implement conservation practices, among other steps, Gasperut says.

Gasperut says the company actually needed a smaller building to replace one that was too large, and after looking at numerous places to remodel, found the most competitive deal with Schostak Brothers and Co., which bought the land at a great price from Chrysler Corp. General Development, the general contractor, was also able to stay lean on the pricing so Henniges decided to build new.

"It's really exciting to be able to build a building exactly the way we want it, for work flow and hopefully we get some creative workspace designs," Gasperut says.

She says there's also excitement at the company about being located in the technology park and near Oakland University and Oakland Community College.

"The businesses at the technology park, being automotive based and auto supply could be a good thing," she says. "And the attraction beyond that is the universities that are around there and the resources we can pull from them. Hopefully there's a pool of potential employees."

And, she adds, "the community seems really interested in working with us, which is really good."

Auburn Hills City Manager Pete Auger says the fast growth of the Oakland Technology Park confirms the city's appeal to business, especially those with global operations. 

"With 40 international companies from 32 different countries located in Auburn Hills, we have earned the right early in our city's history to call Auburn Hills the premier global manufacturing address in the Midwest," Auger says in a statement. "Our success in attracting Henniges and other national and international manufacturers to the city, either directly or through developers, reaffirms that the Auburn Hills Advantage includes our reputation for being nimble, resourceful and business-friendly."  

Auger went on to say that Henniges' decision to pursue LEED Certification will be supported by the city, which he says was the first in Michigan to have a policy that encourages and assists developers in seeking LEED certification. 

"Even companies that aren't as aggressive in obtaining LEED certification as Henniges tend to surpass their initial goals for energy efficiencies because Auburn Hills' personnel have the knowledge to guide them during the building process," he says.

Source: Geri Gasperut, vice president of human resources, Henniges Automotive
Writer: Kim North Shine
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