With the completion of its new Subaru and Hyundai headquarters, Curry Automotive has become the first green dealership in New York’s Cortlandt Manor, roughly 50 miles north of New York City. “We’ve always been conscious of environmental concerns,” says Bob Carinci, COO. “When we got the opportunity to build a new building from the ground up, we knew we wanted to focus on sustainability.” Boasting a plethora of energy-efficient features, the new 30,000-square-foot building is targeting LEED Silver certification.

New features include a roof insulation of bio-based spray foam, concrete block walls containing expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation, and high-performance, low-E insulated glass. Building systems also received the green treatment. “The restrooms are served by point-of-use water heating systems as an alternative to less-efficient centrally heated water,” Carinci says. He adds that the interior lighting systems use motion and daylight sensors, which turn off lights when natural lighting is adequate or areas are unoccupied.

The roofing is light-colored and highly reflective, and a 256-square-foot rain garden of unfertilized native plants captures rainwater runoff, which filters through layers of soil before returning to the groundwater system. The landscaping has water-efficient native plants, which are doubly beneficial because they limit potentially invasive species and reduce the need for irrigation. Exterior light pollution into neighboring residential areas is reduced through the use of full cutoff luminaires, and outdoor lighting power densities are 30 percent lower than existing buildings.

Locally sourced and manufactured materials were used throughout the project, including glass, gravel, concrete block, and steel, which contains a minimum of 92 percent recycled content. Carinci says many of the local materials cost the same or even less than expected, but the same wasn’t true of certain items. “We noticed a significant cost increase for the FSC-certified wood doors,” he says.

Architectural Visions and GTL Construction both have experience designing and building auto dealerships and service centers, and Carinci knew their design recommendations and expertise on sustainable materials would be crucial. “They integrated Subaru and Hyundai corporate design intent and created a building that also met our needs and sustainability goals,” he says.

Located only a quarter-mile from two public bus lines, the new building pushes sustainability beyond its own walls. “We encourage the use of public transportation as a way to reduce pollution,” Carinci says. The parking lot has also undergone an environmentally friendly transformation. Curry rewards eco-minded drivers by reserving those parking spaces closest to the entrance for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.

Curry Automotive isn’t stopping its green streak any time soon. “We’ve already started construction on our next LEED-certified building,” he says. “It’s for Toyota, and will be next door to this one.” Completion of the Toyota facility is scheduled for early 2013.