Toyota strives to be a leader in sustainability, from its fuel-efficient cars to its LEED-certified dealerships, and the company is designing its new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, with an eye toward “innovative sustainability.”

Toyota's Corporate Manager of Administration Services Doug Beebe discussed the company's new 1.4-million-sq.-ft. campus during a recent keynote luncheon at the IFMA expo, the fifth annual tradeshow of the International Facility Management Association Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter. “This is a point in time to make a positive impact and set ourselves up for the next 50 years,” Beebe told a crowd of roughly 500 people.

Located in the Legacy West development, the headquarters will eventually house 4,000 employees. The 240-acre mixed-use project is situated on the southwest corner of the Dallas North Tollway and State Highway 121. It will consist of corporate office space, apartments, hospitality facilities and an urban shopping center with restaurants and other retail uses. In addition to Toyota, the development also will house a 265,000-sq.-ft. headquarters complex for FedEx offices.

Toyota expects to begin occupying its new campus in late 2016 or early 2017. A large number of employees will be relocated from California, Kentucky and the New York City and New Jersey metro area.

Toyota’s existing locations have created a very siloed company, Beebe noted. “Physically we’ve been away from each other,” he explained. “The goal now is to start breaking down those silos and create ‘One Toyota.'”

Toyota tapped Dallas–based KDC Real Estate Development & Investments to develop the 100-acre headquarters site. JLL is advising Toyota during the development process, and Dallas-based Corgan Associates Inc. is handling design. Beebe said Toyota chose KDC and Corgan because of their “sustainability philosophy.” Both firms have significant experience working on green campuses.

Beebe, who has been with Toyota since 1998, said the company is relying heavily on its partners because its previous development experience has involved smaller projects. “This is a great set of folks … everybody is coming together, wanting to do the right thing,” he added.

Toyota set up temporary offices in 122,000 sq. ft. in Plano. The company has coined a term for the first employees who will make the move to Texas: pioneers. Twenty-five people are there now, and by the end of the year, there will be 50. The company expects to have 600 people in Plano by the end of 2015, Beebe said.

Toyota is taking a holistic approach to the campus design, Beebe said. “We think about how we can do the right thing for the site, the community, and the planet,” he explained. “We’re trying to be innovative with the new campus.”

Sustainable design objectives include:

  • Net zero energy
  • Zero waste to landfill
  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental quality and healthy spaces
  • Awareness and certification

Beebe says Toyota doesn’t design its facilities to achieve certification from various entities such as the U.S. Green Building Council. Instead, the company designs its facilities with an eye toward its own needs and then hopes the design will be validated by sustainable organizations. As of December 2013, 11 Toyota U.S. facilities and 28 of its dealerships have obtained LEED certification.

The design theme for Toyota’s new home is “practical and proud.” Beebe said the company wants its new campus to be practical rather than ostentatious, yet also impressive enough that employees can be proud of their workplace.

“We want to create a location where associates will be inspired to be there,” Beebe explained. “The goal is to be more connected and more balanced… to create a space where we can be more innovative.”