Creating a Greener Community
by Susan Post
A car dealership might not be first on the list of buildings one would expect to be certified “green”, but local dealership Tansky Toyota has exceeded expectations by obtaining a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
“We’re the first LEED-certified [car] dealership in Ohio,” says Judy Tansky. She was the driving force behind turning the car dealership into a LEED facility. “I really thought it was the right thing to do to give our employees a good environment,” she says. She wanted to provide a nice facility for both customers and employees, one with clean air that would leave the world a better place for generations to come.
Toyota officials did not ask Tansky to consider LEED certification for their facility but were excited when Judy approached them with the idea. Toyota has LEED initiatives in several stores and company leaders were eager for Tansky to become one of the first to participate in the central part of the country. The company provided resources and guidance to help the dealership achieve the impressive Gold Certification.
Tansky subsequently attained the second-highest certification level available. LEED projects earn points for each green initiative implemented with a different number of points equating to different types of certifications, including Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each project must meet minimum requirements, like indoor and outdoor water-use reduction, storage and collection of recyclables, and minimum energy and indoor air quality requirements. Further enhancements beyond these basics can take projects to the next level.
When deciding what green initiatives to put in place at Tansky, Judy says they “Did basically everything that we could do” to remodel and add on to their existing facility.
From the ground up, all blacktop that was torn up during construction was recycled, crushed and used as filler under the building. Numerous large windows let in as much natural light as possible. A new heating and cooling system meeting LEED standards was put in place.
Special attention was paid to the interior and exterior of the facility, from the paint on the walls to the local plants that decorate the space, and to the roof that can be equipped with solar panels in the future. The inside features bamboo, “Which is the fastest growing wood, and most sustainable, that there is,” Judy says.
Tansky also implemented numerous recycling initiatives. “We have four tanks to catch water that we use in our car wash,” Judy says. This rainwater is used in the restrooms for the service area as well.
Recycling does not stop there. The dealership recycles everything from paper to all the materials and metals taken off a car during service. Used oil heats the facility in the winter. Tansky strives to be consumer-friendly with all by-products of their work.
“We’re saving the planet as much as we can,” Judy says. Tansky has received positive feedback from customers and employees alike. Customers take heart knowing the dealership’s commitment to the environment, while employees enjoy a facility that Judy wants to feel like home.
Tansky Toyota has long been a fixture in Central Ohio, opening the first dealership in Clintonville in 1968. From a modest start, the dealership grew tremendously, moving to their current Dublin location in 1984. Throughout their history, Tansky has been committed to serving the community and is set up for a bright future with their LEED Gold Certified facility.
Location: 6300 Sawmill Rd. For more information, call 614-766-4800 or visit Tansky.com.
Susan Post is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus. She enjoys writing about her city and the people and places that make it special. Contact her at Susan.Post.firstname.lastname@example.org.