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April 19, 2011

Mark Miller Subaru's LEED Building and Do Good Feel Good Event!

To get ready for the upcoming Grand Opening Community Event at Mark Miller Subaru Midtown, USEE staffer Marta Nielsen took a tour of their new LEED building. For details about the community event, scroll to the end of the post!

The building that now houses Mark Miller Subaru Midtown has been around for awhile. It started as a Buick dealership 40 years ago, but lately has been transformed into a LEED certified building that will pay for itself in less than ten years. The dealership used the existing building, changing a few details to make it more sustainable, and also built a new addition to meet the needs of the growing business.

It takes a keen eye to recognize the green features of the reused building, but fortunately there are educational signs in plain sight that detail a few of the features. Staff at the dealership is also very helpful in answering questions, I even recruited the General Sales Manager to give me a tour. Here are some highlights:

  • Water: Not only do the bathrooms in the retrofitted building use dual flush toilets and waterless urinals (which alone conserve 40,000 gallons each year), but the car wash uses 75% recycled water. Landscaping around the building is watered with groundwater that would normally be pumped into the sewer system.
  • Lighting: To optimize natural lighting and minimize electricity use, the Mark Miller Subaru Midtown building uses high-tech skylights, compact florescent bulbs, and and sensors that automatically raise and lower the interior lights depending on the amount of natural light available. In the car lot, existing lamp posts were retrofitted with new heads that use florescent bulbs. These lights are on a timer, coming on just before sunset, and shutting off at midnight to conserve electricity.
  • Reducing Waste: All of the waste from the renovation and construction were recycled, and inside the Mark Miller Subaru Midtown you will see recycling bins next to every garbage. The tile in the new building is made with 65-85% recycled materials, and the exterior of the building is covered with 85% recycled aluminum. In the retrofitted part of the building, the existing flooring and windows were preserved to minimize waste. Dyson hand dryers in the bathrooms not only cut the use of paper towels, but use 80% less energy than most hand dryers.
  • Customer's Appreciation: Customers love the new building, and show their appreciation for Mark Miller Subaru's commitment to sustainability by supporting the business. As my tour guide said, "LEED sells cars." The LEED building is comfortable, with high-speed shop doors and a newly insulated roof keeping keeping the temperature inside more enjoyable. A cafe inside the dealership not only provides customers and employees with a convenient place to grab a bite to eat, but decreases the overall carbon footprint as those customers and employees stay on-sight rather than driving somewhere else for lunch.
The new Mark Miller Subaru Midtown is a great example of businesses taking initiative to do the right thing. The building there is fantastic, but don't take my word for it, go see for yourself!

During the month of April, for their DO GOOD FEEL GOOD event, Mark Miller Subaru will be donating $50 per car sold to local non-profits, including USEE. When you purchase any new or pre-owned vehicle from either Mark Miller Subaru location, you can choose USEE for this $50 donation .

All of this will be leading up to the Grand Opening Community Day Event, where you can come and celebrate Mark Miller Subaru's new LEED certified building as well as local nonprofits. Mark Miller Subaru will personally donate $13,000 per charity plus the money raised during the Do Good Feel Good Event.

The Grand Opening Community Day Event will take place on Saturday May 7 at the Midtown location. In addition, Mark Miller Subaru will be offering special pricing when you mention the DO GOOD, FEEL GOOD event. Feel good when you purchase your car knowing you are buying from one of the most ethical dealerships in the nation.

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