Gensler and Toyota of Corvallis in Oregon are collaborating to build one of the car industry’s first fully sustainable, solar-powered facilities. The net zero energy building, defined as a structure that produces at least as much energy as it consumes, will send unused power from its to the local power grid to offset demands during peak usage times in order to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum status.
The new, $17 million facility includes photovoltaic (PV) solar that are expected to produce 300,000-kilowatt hours of electricity annually—enough to power 25-30 homes, water harvesting for landscape irrigation, radiant floor heating and geothermal heating and cooling. In order to reach the coveted LEED Platinum standard, the building’s efficiency and sustainability will be evaluated for the next 14 months.
“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,” said Steve Haag, Toyota Motor Sales regional manager. “Toyota is focused on being a leader in environmental sustainment 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.”
"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,” said Project Director at Gensler, Rick Ferrara.
Having already received LEED Gold certification at their dealership in Rockwall, Texas in 2008, owners Corvallis Toyota owners Steve and Barbara Jackson are continuing their commitment to clean energy and sustainability. ”It is a great privilege working for Steve and Barbara Jackson. Their passion for doing the right things, from protecting the environment with their choice of energy-efficient building design, to their immensely philanthropic mindset, is truly inspiring,” said General Manager of Toyota of Corvallis, Chip Edwards.
Toyota itself has emerged as an advocate of sustainability for some time. The company’s dedication to reducing its vehicles’ carbon emissions started with the introduction of the first commercial hybrid car, the Prius, in 1997. The company has increased its efforts in numerous ways including by constructing a 2.3-megawatt array installed at its parts center in Ontario, Canada. Likewise, the company’s new U.S. headquarters in Plano,Texas, incorporates 7.8 megawatts of solar arrays on parking structure rooftops, providing up to 25 percent of its electric generation.
Similar to an energy efficient arms race, Toyota’s main competitor, Honda has also stepped up its efforts toward sustainability by offsetting their carbon footprint by installing a 335-kilowatt solar array, producing 70 percent of its energy, at Motorcars Honda in Cleveland, Ohio.Tweet