There are two things underlying Grappone Toyota’s new building renovations. One is a solid underlying environmental philosophy. The other is solid underlying bedrock. Both have been used to good effect.
The philosophy is to use well those things that already exist with little waste. With that in mind, the owners rebuilt an old building that could be mostly salvaged. It gave continued use to many tons of material that otherwise would have gone to landfills. What new material was added was largely recycled, and this included everything from concrete, steel, insulation, countertops, and wallboard to doors, locksets, and hinges.
Care to the environment went into the details. All of the new wood purchased for the project was certified to have come from sustainably managed forests. Surface finishing was done with materials without volatile organic compounds. Parking lots retained their original size, protecting the Turkey River from an additional runoff load.
The building is now heated by the bedrock under a parking lot. Thirty-two 400-foot wells were installed to provide for the thirty-six heat pumps that heat individual spaces in the building. Other heating and cooling details range from care not to use CFG’s to programmable control systems. The programmable controls include occupancy sensors, and an ability to use daily and seasonal settings.
The indoor environment includes CO and CO2 sensors, care to use cleaning products that pass environmental standards, and designating the entire building as a no-smoking facility.
Low emission glass was used for glazing. Window light brightens 92% of the buildings regularly occupied spaces. And the same programmable sensors used for heat have outside light detectors to help determine whether lights need to be on.
One of the other environmental measures is putting recycling centers for separating paper, plastic, metal and glass that are located throughout the facility. Such water saving measures as dual lush toilets and reduced flow urinals reduce water usage by 30%. Even efficiency for automatic door opening has been addressed, with the electric systems normally used being replaced by more efficient pneumatic operation.
There are stations with outlets for electric car charging.
One of the things I like best about Grappone’s approach is the attention that has been made to human comfort and interaction. There are designated spaces for carpooling. There are bike racks and showers to encourage employees of the car dealership to use alternate transportation. A thirty-foot long Green Education Wall and information displays have been put up so customers can learn what Grappone has done.
The storefront glass gives views of the Merrimack River. Views to the outside are maximized. The roof of an existing canopy structure was renovated into a usable eating area with views of the Merrimack River. Plants used for landscaping are native, and the planting beds, which used recycled tires, require no water for irrigation.
The dealership was given Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the US Green Building Council. The minimum score for certification is 40 points. Grappone got 49.