Baristaville is on the cutting edge of many things, not least of them its green building practices. 

“It is a particularly green area,” said Fred R. Profeta, Jr., Maplewood’s Deputy Mayor for the Environment and one of the founders of Sustainable Jersey, a green certification program for communities. 

Maplewood’s Police Station, completed in 2008, was New Jersey’s first LEED®-certified municipal building (LEED® is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings).

Montclair is also no slouch in the green building area. Recently, developers broke ground on Hillside Square, a LEED-certified green office complex which will be built on the site of the First Church of Christ, Scientist on Hillside Avenue. 

“We are part of the greening of downtown Montclair,” said one of the project’s developers, Bob Silver.  “We want to make Montclair a model community for businesses.”

Silver and partner Jay Schweppe are also the team behind Greenworks on Grove, the town’s first commercial building to be awarded LEED® Green Building Certification and Academy Square, Montclair’s second LEED-certified office building. “People want a safe environment to live and work in,” said Silver, who noted that the new development was already over 70% rented.

The new complex will hold 11 office suites and a smaller, refurbished church space.  As at Academy Square, a state-of-the-art HVAC system will keep the heating bills low, the developers said.  They also plan to maintain high indoor air quality with low or no VOCs.

Though going green sounds great on paper, it’s not always a piece of cake for commercial buildings.  “We initially wanted to be LEED-certified,” said Greg Holoway, general manager of the five-month-old BMW dealership in Bloomfield.  “But we learned that it would be too expensive and would have delayed construction.” 

Still, the building is a shining example of how a car dealership can be environmentally conscious. 

“We are as energy efficient as possible,” said Holoway.  For example, 100% of the building’s heating is from recycled waste oil – including the roof parking deck.  (“No snow blowing or plowing necessary.”)  The windows are twice as energy efficient as regular windows and there is computer-controlled climate support that automatically shuts off the building’s heat at night. 

Holoway said the efforts have resulted in considerable energy savings.  “In our old, 22,000-square-foot building we used 50,000 kilowatts per month.  Now, with a building that is triple the size, we use just 60,000.”

“It’s the dream of every owner and developer to make the most energy efficient building possible,” said Holoway.  “The challenge is that it costs more, takes longer and can be technologically challenging.”

LEED-certification is not a walk in the park,” said Profeta.  “They set the bar high, and that’s how it should be.”  He said that although the initial expense was high to construct Maplewood’s police station, “the green features have been more than paid for by the resulting energy savings.”

He said that all future buildings constructed within Maplewood’s three economic development zones will have to meet certain green standards and requirements. 

“Green building is not only important to the future of the environment, but also for our economic health,” said Profeta.

18 replies on “Baristaville is Lean, Mean — and Green”

  1. “Holoway said the efforts have resulted in considerable energy savings. “In our old, 22,000-square-foot building we used 50,000 kilowatts per month. Now, with a building that is triple the size, we use just 60,000.”

    They went from 50K KWH to 60K KWH per month. Huzzah fellas! Thanks for saving the environment! Let’s hear it for green corporations!

  2. “It’s the dream of every owner and developer to make the most energy efficient building possible,” said Holoway.

    If that were true, it’d be the quickest transformation since Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

  3. The BMW dealer’s business is expanding. How is that not cause for celebration? Of course more economic activity uses more resources, yet in this case they tripled their space yet only increased energy usage 20%. Good for them.

  4. Wake me up when they triple their space but figure out how to DECREASE their energy usage–by ANY percent. Now that would be a cause celebre.

  5. There are many environmental success stories these days. They’re all over the place. Why a copper mine I own stock in was able (through green practices) to double their strip mining operation while only increasing the amount of arsenic discharged into the water table by 70%!

  6. I have actually increased my intake of cabbage and brussel sprouts by 25% and cut down my fecal expulsion schedule to 3 times a week. I’m currently working on a system to capture the methane I am producing as fuel to heat my home.

  7. They have decreased their carbon footprint compared to what it would have been had they not implemented the green technologies. A projected 150 KWH down to 60 KWH sounds like a decrease to me.

  8. Think of the scenario in terms of supermarket math:
    would you rather buy 22 loaves of bread for $50, or 66 for $60 ???

    Translated, which is the better deal?
    a) A 22,000 sqft building operating at 50,000 KWh (2.27 KWh/sqft)
    b) A 66,000 sqft building operating at 60,000 Kwh (1.1 KWh/sqft)

    b) A building with three times the useable space that operates on half the previous power. In other words, a lot more space using a lot less power per sqft.

    (It’s flawed logic to look at the change in power usage without taking into account the related change in space used.)


  9. I love this! If I buy 2 Hummers instead of 3 it’s a reduction in my potential carbon footprint!

  10. Would you rather them expand using existing technology, then a year later renovate to implement green technology? Then would that constitute a decrease in your eyes?

    Or does green now mean you can’t expand your business?

  11. I think what they did is fine. Good for them! I’d do the same. But to maintain that they’ve helped the environment by increasing their electrical usage because it *could* have been worse is ludicrous.

    “honey I lost $1000 at the track today, but I ALMOST bet $2000 so, really, I saved us $1000!”

  12. ROC’s complaint of a ludicrous argument is directed at the author of the article, not at the BMW dealer’s GM, who is not quoted here as making a claim of helping the environment. Right ROC?

  13. “We are part of the greening of downtown Montclair,” said one of the project’s developers. Yet, they commenced the “greening” by cutting down those venerable, stately trees that graced the lawn of the former First Church of Christ Scientist on Hillside Ave.

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