Earth week is a celebration that is growing in importance for many Canadians as together we demonstrate support for environmental protection. One of the world’s most fascinating brands has a very deep history in automotive innovation of green technologies, having produced the worlds first hybrid more than one-hundred years ago. The latest hybrid models from the storied brand is the Panamera Hybrid and the all-new Porsche 918 super car and very exciting but most of us don’t know that Porsche was a hybrid innovator, producing over 300 Lohner-Porsche hybrid vehicles between 1900 and 1906.
As much as we love our Porsche models, they are not the subject of this specific blog post. Porsche Centre Oakville (PCO) is taking shape and we recently sat with Mr. Robert Arnone – Partner and Architect at R.H. Carter Architects in Toronto – to discuss the environmental elements that have been integrated into the dealership. When it opens later this year, this 55,000 square foot facility will be the largest in the country and one of the largest Porsche Centre’s in North America, creating a challenge to ensure all energy consumption is minimized.
PCO - “Lets talk about building codes as they relate to the environment and building a dealership.”
RA - “Buildings are now assessed, tested and evaluated based on their ability to provide a more robust building science, one that’s more energy-efficient. This was a big leap forward for Ontario. It really comes down to a buildings ability to mitigate heat gain and heat loss. Our job as the lead architect was – among other things – to ensure solar gain and extremes in temperature don’t burden the dealerships mechanical systems.”
PCO - “How does Porsche Centre Oakville conform to these codes?”
RA - “The Porsche Corporate Image (CI) is a remarkable building design. It has this very heavy brow that’s counterintuitive to how most car dealerships are designed. This very prominent brow above a very modest height showroom glass wraps around at least two, and in our case, three sides of the dealership. By virtue of this lack of glazing, we now have a building that more readily meets the new Ontario Building Code standards as it relates to energy efficiency. As an aside there’s also this mysterious European inspired building typology. You really have to approach the building before you get witness to what’s going on inside. It has a very intriguing and mysterious element to the design which I find very, very attractive.”
PCO - “Porsche Centre Oakville is a very big building. How else do you mitigate heat energy loss?”
RA - “Our mechanical systems, our HVAC systems, are nothing less than high efficiency. We are going to get the benefit of the newest technology, we’re therefore going to burn less energy to run the systems. We also have quite a large roof which traditionally absorbs large amounts of heat. We wanted to find ways to reduce the amount of heat absorption through the roof. You can reduce the burden on the systems and the amount of heat absorption if you consider taking on a roof with a high albedo (or refection coefficient), which is reflecting the heat back into the environment. In this case, we were glad to incorporate a white roof system in order for Porsche Centre Oakville to achieve this.”
PCO - “What about the interior?”
RA - “Some of the accomplishments on the interior is less of a feather in our cap and more of a reflection of what the industry is now offering. We’ve simply taken advantage of interior finishes that are now market ready and market available that contain recycled materials. For example, porcelain tiles and carpeting that contain recycled materials. These are things that were are happy to include and were not available or were cost prohibitive only a few years ago.”
Date Posted: April 27, 2013