Right on the heels of the Prius Prime making its round across various news outlets, we now have information that a newly opened, 34,800 square-foot Toyota dealership in Corvallis, Oregon will be seeking to receive their LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy certifications over the next 14 months as data is collected.
From the official press release, Gensler, the architect of the dealership that opened last week, will monitor Toyota of Corvallis’ data over the next 14 months to ensure that they meet the standards to become both LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy certified. As a reminder, LEED means ‘Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design’ and Net Zero energy is essentially defined as producing more energy than you’re using.
The original Toyota of Corvallis started operations in 1970, eventually being bought by Steve and Barbara Jackson in 2013 (who also have another LEED dealership in Rockwall, Texas). The following year, renovations and construction began on the facility. Gensler Project Director, Rick Ferrara, shared his thoughts on the Net Zero Energy establishment:
“As a design firm committed to constantly raising the bar and leading the charge on the future of sustainable design projects, we are very proud of this project […]
Not only is Toyota of Corvallis setting a new standard for Toyota, they are leading the industry in a completely new direction.”
On top of utilizing photovoltaic solar panels, the dealership is also implementing “water harvesting to irrigate the landscape, radiant floor heating, geothermal heating and cooling to regulate the temperature of the building.” Exact details on the number of solar panels or technical specifications on their other systems are scarce though.
Steve Haag, Toyota Motor Sales Regional Manager, also made a few comments on the monumental step by Mr. and Mrs. Jackson:
“Toyota is focused on being a leader in environmental sustainability through our development of hybrid and fuel cell technologies, the creation of energy efficient facilities and our commitment to support philanthropic organizations that address environmental issues. We applaud Toyota of Corvallis for setting a positive example and creating a first-of-its-kind template for the auto dealership of the future.”
Toyota of Corvallis won’t be the first in receiving LEED Platinum certification, but if at the end of the 14 months they have met the necessary criteria, they will be the world’s very first Net Zero Energy certified dealership. If they accomplish this, it would be a huge. It could potentially influence and encourage other dealerships, of all brands, to move towards “greenifying” their facilities.