Dealership leads transportation industry with energy efficient new facility
By Tracey Somers
Peterbilt NB’s new building in Moncton’s Caledonia Industrial Park is a showstopper, when compared to other heavy duty truck dealerships. It is the only dealership east of Alberta that can bring a truck into its showroom and it is one of the most energy efficient buildings of its kind in the province. That performance won it a New Brunswick Premier's Award for Energy Efficiency in the Outstanding Energy Efficiency Project – Commercial New Construction category this year.
By Tracey Somers
The building has been chosen for an energy efficiency award for the Smart Start commercial new construction program because it was designed and built to incorporate many energy efficient features. For buildings of this type the most significant energy use is for space heating. The Peterbilt facility installed a highly efficient central heating system with natural gas boilers with a 95% efficiency rating. The system supplied heat through the installed in-floor radiant heating and provided water heating as well.
When you drive by the facility from the highway you can’t help but notice the many windows at the front of the building. These windows contribute to the energy efficiency of the building by supplying natural light and some solar heat gain, and also because they are energy efficient, double glazed, and low e argon filled. Translucent, south-facing bay doors also allow for a lot of natural light which decreases the need for trouble lighting to see inside truck engines. All of the building’s installed lighting uses high performance T8 fluorescent and compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).
Peterbilt worked with their architect and energy consultants to incorporate as many energy efficient components that they could, starting with Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction. As a result, Operations Manager, Tom Dykeman estimates their annual energy savings to be about $60,000 and he also indicated that their annual operating costs are lower than even their feasibility study projected.
The company is extremely pleased with the results of the energy efficiency component to the building. With better controls they are able to easily maximize operating efficiency and they have actually experienced many indirect benefits with the energy efficiency, according to Tom. “We have no trouble recruiting mechanics because the facility is known to have the best working conditions in town,” he said. With improved employee satisfaction and comfort also comes improved productivity. Tom explains there is less chance that employees are rushing jobs and overlooking things because they are cold or uncomfortable. The workplace is also safer in part due to the in-floor heating system which helps dry any water that is on the floor and minimizes the risk of slipping.
By achieving 30.3% above the Model National Energy Code for Buildings, the Peterbilt facility received a $46,000 grant through Efficiency NB’s Start Smart program.
Incorporating energy efficiency and other premium features and equipment was supported by company owners from the beginning of the project. Peterbilt continues to look at other opportunities for improving efficiency in its other buildings and will explore new technology when it is available. Peterbilt Trucks offers truck sales, parts, and service at two locations in New Brunswick; in Moncton and Fredericton, one in Nova Scotia and one in Prince Edward Island.