Dealer principal Sjon Wynia and general sales manager Kevan Threadgill show off the rooftop solar panels powering the Harbourview VW dealership.

Powered by the sun, heated by reclaimed engine oil

Go behind the scenes at Harbourview VW’s new green building

From foundation to roof, it’s a green new world emerging at Harbourview VW.

The Nanaimo dealership broke ground on its state-of-the-art new facilities earlier this year and customers got their first look inside when the service bays opened this month.

One of Nanaimo’s last family-owned and operated dealerships, Harbourview VW has been in the Wynia family for 34 years. From humble beginnings down on Haliburton Road, the dealership has enjoyed steady growth, leading to its current expansion.

But the real story of the new building rising at at the corner of Mostar and Wellington is the focus on environmental sustainability built in by Vancouver Island’s Windley Contracting.

Why focus so strongly on the green initiatives?

“We’re pretty conscious here on Vancouver Island that we live in a beautiful place and we want to keep it that way,” says the dealership’s Andrew Morrison.

Powered by the sun: Visiting the dealership, customers may notice the long-lived LED lighting inside and out, or feel the comfort provided by the energy-efficient heating system, but they likely won’t know what powers those green features. Some 250 solar panels lining the roof will provide approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the building’s power needs, depending on the weather, with plans to add additional panels to make the building fully sustainable in the next five years. While this and other initiatives required an initial investment, the costs will be recouped in energy savings down the road, Morrison says.

Waste not, want not: Forget the containers of used oil lined up for recycling you see at many garages. At Harbourview VW, all waste oil is now repurposed to heat the shop. “No waste oil leaves the building; it’s all put to use here,” Morrison says.

The technicians moved into their new digs in early November and once construction is complete, customers will appreciate features like the drive-through service bays – especially in Nanaimo’s wet winters!

The parts department has also doubled in size, allowing Harbourview VW to carry more inventory. The result? Fewer waits for items that need to be ordered in and better prices, Morrison says.

With completion scheduled for late March, keep up to date with all the excitement at harbourviewvw.com or on Facebook.

***

Nanaimo’s Harbourview Volkswagen is the Central Island’s premier location for a new Volkswagen or pre-owned car. New cars in stock include the Golf, Beetle, SportWagen, Passat, Jetta, Atlas, Tiguan and Touareg.

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