published Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Mountain View Chevy updates site, gets LEED

Andy Watson, president and dealer/operator of Mountain View Chevrolet, behind, listens as Kent Borough, with Chevrolet, front right, speaks Wednesday during a grand opening event for the newly renovated, LEED certified Mountain View Chevrolet.
Andy Watson, president and dealer/operator of Mountain View Chevrolet, behind, listens as Kent Borough, with Chevrolet, front right, speaks Wednesday during a grand opening event for the newly renovated, LEED certified Mountain View Chevrolet.
Photo by Dan Henry.

LEED HIGHLIGHTS

50 percent of material removed from old building diverted from landfill

20 percent of new materials are recycled items

Predicted energy usage down 20 percent from similar building

Electric vehicle charging stations added

35 percent cut in water use due to low-flow plumbing fixtures

Source: Mountain View Chevrolet

Mountain View Chevrolet on Wednesday marked the revamp of the Chattanooga dealership while garnering a key environmental badge.

The refurbishing, costing $2 million, won Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Bronze status from the U.S. Green Building Council, said Andy Watson, its dealer-operator.

"We wanted to do our part to be energy efficient," said Watson as he and others officially reopened the rebuilt showroom and service area at the East 20th Street store.

Chevrolet official Kent Borough said he believes the Mountain View facility is the first Chevy dealership to gain LEED in East and Middle Tennessee and much of Alabama.

"It's a showplace for the product," said the Chevrolet zone manager, citing the nameplate's new greener lineup that includes the Volt, Sonic and Cruze.

Mayor Ron Littlefield said the city has several LEED fire stations, and it boasts the world's only Platinum LEED auto assembly plant in Volkswagen's facility.

He cited the Watson family's investment in the area where it operates Ford and Nissan dealerships in addition to the Chevy unit.

"They've done a tremendous job reshaping ... not just this dealership but this entire part of the city," Littlefield said. Mountain View Nissan opened a new $6 million facility earlier this decade.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger called the Chevrolet dealership "a good fit" because of its environmental aspects.

Watson said that going for LEED was more costly, but the energy savings will pay off in the long run.

"It's a money saver," he said, adding the dealership has brought in another 12 employees to its workforce.

Weak volt showing

Borough said while sales of the extended-range Volt haven't met expectations, he thinks the vehicle has been misunderstood by the public and expects a relaunch of the car.

Chevrolet said the Volt is unique among electric vehicles because drivers have two sources of energy. They have an electric source, a battery, that allows motorists to drive gas-free for an estimated 35 miles. And there's an onboard gas generator that produces electricity so drivers can go up to a total of 375 miles on a full tank of gas.

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