Fields Northfield Volvo Awarded LEED Silver

It’s Official!  Fields Volvo Northfield has been awarded LEED Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Fields Volvo Northfield is Volvo North America’s first LEED Certified facility, and the newest addition to the Fields Auto Group’s award winning family of dealerships.

Fields customers expect quality and performance from the cars they sell. Now customers can expect the same quality from the service and facilities they operate. LEED Certification is the benchmark for environmental performance and design, and Fields new facility at 770 Frontage Road in Northfield is a shining example of quality design and performance worthy of the Volvo name.

When it comes to fuel economy the building is as efficient as the cars they sell. The new facility uses 35% less energy than a normal building of its size. It generates over 5% of the electricity it needs annually from solar panels located on the roof of the facility and from  wind turbines mounted in a rain garden next to the service lounge.

When it comes to water, the building does its share not to waste a precious community resource. The facility will collect almost 468,000 gallons of rainwater a year and uses that water to flush toilets and irrigate the site. They are able to reduce the amount of public water we use by a whopping 81%! You can see the water storage tanks outside the facility, and there is an additional tank under the garden that allows Northfield Volvo to store 14,000 gallons of rainwater at a time.

Not only do they harvest rainwater to use in their facility, but they also have installed low-flow plumbing fixtures to conserve as much water as possible. Together, these systems help Northfield Volvo save water and money while helping the community and the environment.

Good design, safety, and quality construction are hallmarks of Volvo automobiles. Fields new facility reflects the same commitment to design, safety and quality.

Their new building is designed to take advantage of natural daylight, and uses advanced lighting technology to showcase its cars and create a pleasing environment. They use high efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting, sensors and controls, and provide daylight throughout the facility. The building is heated and cooled using highly efficient equipment in ways that provides comfort to customers and employees, all controlled by a system designed to save energy.

The new building is healthy and safe by design. They made sure to use materials that are non-toxic and promote good indoor air quality. During construction, they followed a plan designed to protect workers and employees, as well as the building itself from mold, moisture and contaminates. The materials and finishes they chose for the new facility release little or no contaminates that pollute the building.

Fields worked closely with the design team and general contractor to insure that the construction of our new facility met high standards for quality and environmental responsibility. 95% of the building waste generated during the construction of the new facility was recycled and diverted from going to a landfill, and over 26% of the materials used in the building have recycled content.

51% of the materials came from local and regional manufactures, which reduces the pollution caused when shipping materials and helps support the regional economy. They made sure that most of the wood used throughout the building came from certified sources that sustainably manage and protect our forests.

Northfield Auto Group is proud of our award for environmental responsible design and construction of their new Northfield Volvo dealership. LEED Silver Certification demonstrates their commitment, as well as Volvo North America’s commitment to providing  customers with the quality and performance they expect. We invite you to come see their new facility for yourself. Tour the building, take a test drive, and see why Fields Northfield Volvo is a leader in sales and service; and now a leader in environmental responsibility.

Small Businesses Need to Be Smart and Efficient

Small business owners are being squeezed in all directions. Customers are spending less, costs keep going up, and margins continue to shrink. To succeed in small business today you need to work smarter and run your business more efficiently.

That’s good general advice for running your business, but it is particularly true when applied to building operations and energy. Most small business owners are behind the curve when it comes to improving building performance and reducing operating costs. It takes money to save money, and lately, the money is just not there. Sound familiar?

“Most small business owners are behind the curve when it comes to improving building performance and reducing operating costs”

Surprisingly, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little effort and a little help from a good consultant like Alpine Green Solutions, smart business owners are reducing their energy costs, increasing their profits, and improving the value of their properties. In many cases there is little upfront cost, and the improvements start generating savings within just a few months.

Sound too good to be true? Most businesses resign themselves to the fact that the energy they use every month is a fixed cost, and that fixed cost keeps going up. In fact, most of us end up paying for energy inefficiency every month, much to the utility providers benefit. Businesses tweak their usage here or there, but never achieve lasting cost reductions without significant investment in new equipment, and money is tight.

The Alpine program uses a whole building approach to tackle this challenge. We analyze energy usage, assess your building, equipment and how it operates, we repair and tune-up HVAC and refrigeration equipment, we improve the efficiency of lighting, we install controls and monitoring to make sure everything operates efficiently, and we educate employees and building occupants about how they can help save money and make the business more profitable.

Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for the small business owner. Alpine provides a customized, turnkey program that includes project financing. The program is cashflow positive for the business owner within months of completion. Options range from simple five-year lease agreements, to longer term Alpine Energy Partners agreements that include all new equipment and full maintenance packages. Many small businesses opt for a shorter term lease agreement, but for owners of older buildings with aging equipment, the Alpine Energy Partners agreements are a cost effective way to do capital building improvements. In each case, businesses spend less on energy every month.

When profit margins are tight, a reduction in annual energy costs is significant to the bottom line. Smart business owners know that with a little ingenuity, the right approach, and programs from folks like Alpine Green Solutions, they can increase profits and add value to their business.