Hi everyone…starting today, there will be a new post every two weeks about something related to our new Pacific Audi building, the process of building green, and how it will physically be a positive addition to the neighborhood, and a nicer place to walk into and work in.
First off, we keep using the term LEED. What IS that? Some of you may know, but basically it’s short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and it’s an independent building certification created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Here in L.A., we have a USGBC-Los Angeles Chapter, and there’s even a new South Bay branch of the Chapter that is getting going, so if you’re interested in getting involved, please do contact the Chapter.
What’s nice about the non-profit USGBC-LA, which promotes sustainability in the built environment, is that anyone can be involved, whether as a green building professional, or green building advocate who wishes to promote sustainable living throughout his/her community in related ways.
So, back to LEED. It provides voluntary guidelines for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. There are various levels of ratings (Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum, both for residential and commercial) that are based on hitting a certain number of points. Points are awarded based a number of considerations such as choices of materials, how one positions the building, what is done with any demolition materials, how water will be used, how much energy will be expended/saved in heating and A/C, transportation infrastructure (which may seem funny since we’re a car dealership, but just wait!), landscaping, and even on innovative ideas! Solar is certainly what makes the most headlines, but there are so many cool “inside” elements that are so impactful. Many architects and an increasing number of general contractors and other building pros build to LEED standards, and we’re luck to be working with some of the best, including Sauers Lopez Construction Inc. and Whitfield Associates, Inc. (architect).
What this means to you is that we’ll be striving to be an even better member of the community by providing a smarter and more beautiful building inside and out. In these posts we’ll share with you more about how we’ll be saving energy as well as water, mitigating storm water runoff, increasing the use of trees (most dealerships don’t like trees outside…think about it!) for cooler ground, beauty and shade for everyone, and even “eating” smog.
Green-built buildings in any neighborhood across the globe make a difference:
- they make people stop and take notice of what is happening, ask questions, and learn more about the process which might seem intimidating;
- they become a community destination to check out to see how it works and looks; and
- they can galvanize community support and add to the sense of pride within the community.
Yes, our project is a car dealership—and you might think we’re a little ironic for being excited about our green building that will house and sell…well, cars. But we hope to make a building the community is proud of and enjoys, and that our employees feel better working in. AsLAcarGUY’s Mike Sullivan said at the groundbreaking, “This property just mirrors where the [Audi] franchise [which I’ve owned since 1999] is going, where the brand is going, and where we are going.” Stay tuned…