As Pat Lobb of McKinney, TX began making plans for his new Toyota dealership, he wanted to dramatically reduce energy consumption because he felt energy costs were a variable he could control and positively impact the bottom line of his business. To accomplish his goal, Lobb gathered a team of advisors experienced in “green” building. Pat Lobb’s collaborators include Gensler architecture firm; James Johnston & Associates, MEP Engineer; HARC, energy modeling consultant; Command Commissioning, commissioning agent; Toyota Motor Sales, and Turner Construction, contractor.
According to Mr. Lobb, he and his team studied every aspect of the design, performed digital energy modeling, analyzed multiple systems and examined return on investment based on conservative estimates of future energy costs compared to standard auto dealership construction. Subsequently, after its first year of occupancy, Pat Lobb Toyota estimates that its energy costs will be at least 20 percent below those of a similar-sized dealership of typical construction in the same climate.
One step the team took was to specify and use ENERGY STAR qualified products whenever possible.
“Our goal was that if it plugged in, it had to have an ENERGY STAR label,” Mr. Lobb says. Energy efficiency is apparent in nearly every decision. Building orientation and daylighting were among the considerations for lighting, along with using T-5 fluorescent fixtures with electronic ballasts, metal halide lighting and Light-Emitting Diode (LED) exit signs. Increased ceiling and wall insulation was coupled with double-paned Low-E windows, insulated water heaters and pipes, and a landscaping plan for shade. HVAC equipment is all ENERGY STAR qualified and a regular service contract is in place.
The design and build team followed guidelines established by the U.S. Green Building Council so that the dealership is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified dealership in the world. This yielded one of the three benefits listed by Mr. Lobb in addition to energy cost savings: media recognition.
Pat Lobb Toyota has also become a model in the U.S and overseas for those interested in studying cost-saving design elements. The other additional benefits, according to Mr. Lobb, are the greater comfort offered by the facility which has improved employee satisfaction and pride.