Auto dealerships building new stores with environmentally friendly features find that going green lowers operating costs and also strengthens branding.

Garrett Scott, Scott Subaru’s main dealership in Red Deer, Alta., Built a Passive House dealership two years ago and said the benefits go well beyond projected heating costs of just $ 200 per year.

“Frankly, that number is about perfect. He reimburses a large sum.

The total monthly energy bill for the 14,000 square foot (1,300 square meters) Subaru store is $ 2,000, while the bill for the Scott’s GMC store, which is almost double the size, is $ 10,000. , did he declare.

“The biggest piece of [the Subaru dealership’s] the bill is personal consumption – computers, lighting, opening and closing doors.

Passive house refers to a set of voluntary building standards aimed at minimizing the possible environmental impact of a structure, whether it is a home, office or dealership.

Scott Subaru is listed as the only passive house dealer in the world by the Passive House Database, which offers an overview of these projects around the world.

ADDITIONAL COST PAID

Passive house features added about 20% to the cost of building the store, Scott said, but it was worth it.

“I have to consider that this 20 percent was spent in three ways. One third is energy savings; one-third is the marketable benefit; and a third you pay for luxury, roominess.

Subaru’s branding as an environmentally conscious automaker generates this marketable advantage, said Scott, whose website promotes his store as “the world’s most efficient dealership.”

“We get interest [from potential customers] Calgary and Edmonton and other cities, ”he said. “People are in awe of what we’re doing. Considering Subaru’s positioning in the market as a greener automaker for the outdoors, “this was a brand that I felt we could capitalize on, more than other brands. ”

The high level of insulation and the walls nearly two feet (60 centimeters) thick also mean the dealership is quiet.

“It’s like living in a big cooler or a thermos. You close the door and eliminate distractions from outside the store.

While Scott’s estimate of an additional 20% of construction costs is correct, the knowledge gained from his store means that a similar store could now be built for just 10% premium, said Andrew Peel, a Toronto-based passive house expert.

Peel, who consulted with dealer Scott, said passive house construction is a growing trend for commercial buildings such as dealerships, with the number of projects in Canada “in the hundreds.” Peel has received requests for information from architects specializing in concession design, but he is not aware of any developments at this time.

“Nothing concrete has materialized, but certainly [Scott Subaru] had aroused some interest.

GREEN ROOF THE BEE’S KNEES


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