Tag: Audi LEED Certified
Sometimes two companies working together just makes sense. They think alike and have the same value set. So it is with Audi and LAcarGUY. And one result is your new LEED-rated Pacific Audi dealership…coming in November!
Thinking environmentally, or sustainably, can direct your energies to a number of important issues: from water conservation to recycling, from energy conservation to where a product goes at the end of its life. One of the best life-changing, and easy-to-read books for someone interested in learning more about the “lifecycle” of products is Cradle to Cradle; it focuses especially on how to change the entire concept of waste (of water, of energy, etc.), not at the END of a process, but in the initial design stages. It’s an eye-opening read.
This leads us also to our topic today. The new “Audi Terminal” design is the basis for our new dealership, and it was created by a team of architects and engineers in Germany (where Audi is based) to be an “ecologically intelligent, advanced construction method”.
The three pillars of sustainability are: ecology, economy and social responsibility. Audi loves to focus on the environment, especially through minimum ecological footprint and maximum efficiency…not a bad way to go! Their employees also behind these ideas, often doing things on their own time to walk the walk. Some examples:
- On Audi’s most important transportation route, they use green electricity in the transport of freight—not only saving CO2, but creating a demand for renewable energy within their country. They’ve even won an award for this!
- As part of their process chain, “packaging software” actually calculates optimal loading density for components, avoiding unnecessary transport due to waste of space (wouldn’t this have been helpful to us all when we had our friends help us move with multiple car trips?).
- Some of Audi’s employees also raise bees, clean lakes, protect birds, clean and restore plots of derelict pieces of land back to nature for enjoyment, and so forth. See the pages marked Passion in Audi’s current issue of their environment magazine called “Encounter”.
So, of course, this fits so well with LAcarGUY, which is always focused—with owner Mike Sullivan leading the way—on community and environmental causes. LAcarGUY has programs like:
- Battery Recycling: Interstate Battery handles the disposal of lead-acid batteries, which is strictly regulated by federal and state legislation, in an environmentally friendly way. They return spent batteries to EPA-approved smelters where the lead and plastic are recycled to make new batteries and products.
- Tire Recycling: Lakin Tire reuses tire materials in exciting new ways that benefit society, such as rubberized asphalt for roads and safe playground surfaces for children.
- Used Oil Recycling: Once Asbury Environmental Services picks up the oil, it’s taken to a refinery where the oil is removed by going through clarifying columns. Oil is treated for re-use as oil for ships (marine diesel fuel) and asphalt flux (blended into paving grade asphalt)!
- The “Driving Green” incentive program that donates to Heal the Bay, EMA, and Global Green.
- Explaining on their site really easily and clearly all the green car technologies!
You can keep up with our ongoing green initiatives HERE.
So when the chance came to team up with Audi on their new Terminal design…we were right there! Having our own local team of architects, GC and many others…we’ve been working toward meshing their design with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED building system, and we’re pretty excited to be just about there.
We’ve even, just recently, gotten solar energy approved to add to our building!
So this is what we mean when we say “a match made in environmental heaven”. The manufacturer (Audi) already is thinking—from design stages to delivery—how to make their system more environmentally conscious (especially because they are a car company). And then they team with a distributor like LAcarGUY who thinks like we do, and how everything we do affects the community they we part of.
Water is increasingly (and rightfully) such a hot topic everywhere…and definitely in SoCal!
So one can imagine this is a big part of our LEED plans at the new Pacific Audi showroom. And we’ll certainly discuss the exterior water use…but in a later post. For now, let’s go inside.
There are a couple really cool things our brilliant team is doing.
First, water heaters. There is much talk these days about “tankless water heaters”. But every situation is different.
The idea behind a tankless system is that it heats the water as you need it, instead of continually heating water stored in a tank.* Popular in Europe and Japan for a long time, they have been gaining more U.S. ground over the last few years, and can be greatly efficient. (If you want to find out more about tankless water heaters, click HERE.)
In Pacific Audi’s case, we decided to go with a high-efficiency water heater (not tankless), also known as a “hybrid heat pump.” Why? Mainly because we didn’t have sufficient access to natural gas, so we went the super-efficient electric route. This kind of water heater works much like a refrigerator in reverse. The heat pump extracts the heat from warm air, intensifies the heat with a compressor, delivers the heat to the water, and exhausts the cooler air. It uses the warm ambient air temperature to do most of the work. Pretty efficient, which means energy (and financial!) savings, AND we get some “Energy Efficiency” points in the LEED system for this!
To actually see how it works, check out the cool interactive graphic from Rheem, HERE.
Next we head on to “water efficiency”, through the other plumbing fixtures on site. We measure our use of water through these fixtures against the LEED scorecard. To be LEED, you automatically need to beat the U.S. Green Building Council’s baseline H20 fixture flow-rates by 20%. So, we will be getting LEED “water savings credit” because what we are doing uses less water than the baseline.
- With “flush” fixtures alone we achieve nearly a 30% water savings in general!
- Water closets (toilets) will flush at a rate of 1.28 gallons per flush, whereas the baseline is set at 1.6 gallons per flush
- Urinals will flush at a rate of 0.125 gallons per flush, whereas the baseline is set at 1.0 gallons per flush.
- Showers will operate at a rate of 2.0 gallons per minute, whereas the baseline is set at 2.5 gallons per minute.
Additionally, we will meet baseline on lavatory and sink faucets. The best part: The flushing fixtures and faucets in the restrooms are battery powered, sensor operated, so they are designed only to be used when someone is actually present and in the case of the faucets, and won’t be left on continually. As an added attention to the smallest detail (and being who we are, we DO love the details!), the flush valves and faucets have a solar component to them. Any natural or artificial light source will generate enough energy to operate the sensor, therefore extending battery life! Cool and smart, no? We thought so…and that’s our M.O.
NOTE: Check out DWELL ON DESIGN on June 22-24. Includes talks on water efficiency and Kitchen & Bath exhibitors, and so much more! And the EcoFabulous house is always a treat.
This honor recognizes Mike’s personal commitment to supporting so many important local environmental organizations and for actively promoting community projects from beach cleanups to creating school gardens. When Global Green needed hybrid cars for their Red Carpet – Green Car campaign (i.e., taking stars to the Oscars in fuel efficient cars), Mike provided them.
LAcarGUY not only sell more hybrids and clean diesel cars than any other dealership group in America, we also showcase energy and resource conserving practices in its dealerships — including the new Audi LEED certified dealership. The LA Green Team represents the company’s commitment to advancing sustainability by encouraging, inspiring and educating its 800+ employees about reducing their individual and corporate carbon footprint, as well as selling more hybrids and clean diesel cars than any other dealership group in the United States.
We hope you will join us in paying tribute to Mike’s contributions and help support the work of Global Green by sponsoring a table or purchasing tickets to the event. To participate or for further information, please contact MTA Events at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818.906.0240 if you require further information. We look forward to seeing you there!