McCALLA, AL - Wadsworth Oilï¿½ï¿½s new gas station and convenience store in McCalla, Alabama, which opened last month, is pursuing the stateï¿½ï¿½s first LEED certification, The Birmingham News reports.
Jim Wadsworth, Wadsworthï¿½ï¿½s president, said pursuing LEED certification added as much as 15% to the buildingï¿½ï¿½s cost, but the steps it took should lower operating costs by consuming less electricity.
"This will be the first LEED certified convenience store in Alabama," Wadsworth said. "Maybe it will encourage other people to think about it."
Wadsworth has a deep affection for the outdoors and serves on the board of the Alabama chapter of the Nature Conservancy, so his companyï¿½ï¿½s eco-friendly pursuit was a logical one.
"I've learned that the environment is pretty fragile and I thought I ought to figure that into my business plan," he said.
The storeï¿½ï¿½s greener elements include:
- A reduced footprint, leaving natural vegetation in place outside the building
- Diverting storm water to a holding pond that allows it to infiltrate back into the ground
- A reflective, off-white roof
- Insulated windows that allow an abundance of natural light
- Interior lights equipped with brightening/dimming sensors
- LED lighting throughout
- Water-saving plumbing features
- A recycling program
- Counters and cabinets constructed of recycled materials
According to John Roper, executive director of the Alabama chapter of the United States Green Building Council, because Alabama has been slow to adopt LEED certification pursuits, Wadsworthï¿½ï¿½s efforts are truly noteworthy and could generate more interest in green projects.
"I think in Alabama it is new territory," he said.