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Top 50 Ways One Tire Dealership Built Green

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Suburban Tire Auto Care Centers in suburban Chicago constructed a highly green facility two years ago at its Hanover Park, Ill., location. Here are 50 ways that the business accomplished it.

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Building Materials/Recycling

1) Recycled 98% of demolished building by sending metal to a recycler, mulching wood for playgrounds and crushing masonry and concrete for parking lot and foundation.

2) Used 20% fly-ash concrete for durability and environmental soundness.

3) Chose MU blocks containing 41% recycled material.

4) Used face brick remaining from previous construction project.

5) Selected roof decking containing more than 80% recycled material.

6) Used white roofing made of at least 20% recycled plastic.

7) Interior showroom walls were insulated using ground-up recycled newspapers.

8) More than 75% of construction waste was recycled.

9) Materials were procured from within 500 miles to reduce carbon footprint.

10) Most wood used was certified as sustainably grown.

11) Countertops were made from low-volatile-organic-compound plastic laminates and formaldehyde-free particleboard.

12) Office floors used abundant limestone-based tile containing post-consumer and pre-consumer content, and low VOC adhesives.

13) Beams in tire racks were bought from a used-equipment vendor, lessening demand for raw materials.

14) All paint was low VOC, helping to reduce staff respiratory problems.

15) Nearly 95% of operation waste was recycled or disposed of responsibly.

Water Efficiency

16) Property was landscaped with native perennial plants that are drought-resistant and predisposed to local climate.

17) Directed water flow from roof and parking lot into a bioswale, requiring no irrigation and allowing natural cleansing.

18) Used the most water-conserving toilets, urinals and faucets available.

19) Installed a green roof to reduce water runoff and provide insulation.

Energy Efficiency

20) Installed 10 direct-exchange geothermal walls under parking lot to provide low-cost heating and air conditioning.

21) Installed 12 bi-facial solar panels that generate 2.2 kWh and capture light from the sun, as well as that reflected from the building.

22) The solar panels send excess electricity into the grid, helping offset demand.

23) All lighting is either fluorescent or LED.

24) Most lights are on motion sensors.

25) Lights in shop and showroom use daylight sensors.

26) All windows can be opened, allowing natural airflow.

27) Repair shop and express lube are heated by burning waste oil collected from customers.

28) Renewable Energy Credits are used to buy wind power for 100% of electricity used by all of the chain’s stores.

29) Restroom faucets are powered by micro-solar panels.

30) Six inches of insulation are on the roof, and masonry is filled with foam to reduce heat loss.

31) Installed Xcelerator hand dryers that consume 80% less energy and eliminate towel use.

32) Heat recovery ventilators capture heat from exhaust and use it to warm incoming air during winter.

33) Installed a screw-style air compressor, which is 20% more efficient than conventional compressors.

34) Garage doors are heavily insulated and set to initially open only seven feet, minimizing heat loss during winter.

35) Exterior windows and doors have double-paned e-glass.

36) Built overhang over showroom windows to reduce heat buildup during summer.

37) Building was designed with direct southern exposure and many south-facing windows to help heating.

38) Concrete parking lot remains cool during summer and transmits less heat into building than asphalt.

39) Used tankless, instantaneous hot-water heaters that heat as water enters faucet.

40) Air compressor generates heat that’s captured and vented into the shop during winter and out during summer.

Site Sustainability

41) Built in an already-developed area, slowing urban sprawl.

42) Chose a location easily accessed by a large population served by mass transit and bicycle.

43) Conserved undisturbed black topsoil that was four feet deep in places.

44) Remediated contaminated soil left from a gas station on site in the 1970s.

45) Provided preferred parking for hybrids, carpoolers and electric cars, and showers for employees who bike to work.

46) Provided two plug-in stations for electric vehicles.

47) Exceeded city requirements for green space set aside by installing green roof.

48) Limited urban heat-island effect by using concrete instead of asphalt in parking lot, and white roofing rather than traditional black rubber.

49) Uses interior and exterior down-lighting at night, and interior lights turn off automatically when employees exit at closing.

50) Required all construction product delivery trucks to be turned off while cargo was unloaded.


For more details on the benefits of incorporating green technologies in your shop, check out this month’s cover feature: Letting ‘Green’ Take Root & Grow Your Bottom Line.

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