Whether you're among the most eco-savvy customers considering the 2010 Toyota Prius or just a smart shopper who'd prefer to buy green, it's likely you haven't thought about this one: Just how green is the dealership itself?
An Oregon new-car dealership—one that sells the Prius, of course—is hoping to appeal on that basis; Kendall Toyota in Eugene boasts that its showroom, sales area, and part department has been LEED Platinum-certified. In fact, it claims to be the first auto dealership of any brand in the U.S. with that distinction (and only the fifth Toyota retailer to have any kind of LEED certification).
The 59,000-square-foot dealership facility combines a wide range of strategies and design features, including a 200-kilowatt solar array in the roof (estimated to generate 220,363 kWh annually—a third of the building's electric needs), extra insulation, up to 20 percent post-consumer recycled materials, automatic lights, and service-bay doors that automatically open and close to help save energy. Thanks to special fixtures, about 130,000 gallons of water will be saved per year, and all of the irrigation water for the drought-tolerant landscaping will be stored rainwater; there's also on-site storm water treatment.
Although the setup likely cost a bit more initially—just as that 2010 Toyota Prius costs a little more than a typical compact sedan—going green might pay off financially in the long run; the dealership is estimated to save $69,233 annually in energy bills alone.
Kendall Toyota - Eugene, OR - First LEED Platinum dealership facility
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system and set of standards from the U.S. Green Building Council covering everything from energy efficiency and water efficiency to materials used and the build site itself.
Sustainability consulting for the project was managed by Portland-based Brightworks. Kendall Auto Group has dealerships in Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska.