Sendell Motors of Greensburg, PA, has grown since William M. Mohler first purchased the Buick dealership in 1980. The addition of Volkswagen, Oldsmobile and Mitsubishi franchises has required the purchase of an extra 3.7 acres of land and 13,500 square feet of facility space. Prior to expanding and building a new combined showroom and reconditioning garage, Mohler compiled three years of utilities records on the existing structures. Then, he and his staff set a goal of reducing energy use by 10 percent, even with 3,100 square feet of additional space.
Heating was the first area of focus. A waste oil boiler was installed to provide in-floor radiant heat. The multi-faceted environmental impact of this move eliminated the need for externally purchased natural gas by using the vast majority of used waste oil generated in the service department. Controls enable different areas of the building to be heated separately.
To increase electric energy efficiency, all existing exterior lot lighting was placed on controlled timers. Interior lighting in the new space is high-efficiency T5HO. The space uses solid aluminum windows with Low-E glass throughout the showroom area and a 40 percent smaller surface area is exposed for light penetration. Finally, a high-efficiency rooftop air conditioning unit was installed. Underground cabling was used to tie all electric service, Internet and television cabling, overhead music, paging and other electronics to the existing buildings. This eliminates costs as well as redundancies. Water savings were achieved with the installation of low-flow/high-efficiency toilets and water fountains to keep water usage constant even with the addition of two rest rooms, sinks and water fountains.
As a result of these efforts, Sendell Motors is saving over $8,000 annually in energy costs. Electric consumption was reduced by 40,000 kWh, natural gas by 3300 therms, and CO2 emissions by over 112,000 pounds per year!