The new John Deere dealership in Greensburg, Kansas, its predecessor destroyed by a 2007 tornado that wiped almost all of the small rural city off the map, was reconstructed with an emphasis on green technologies. The new building, constructed of metal, has been certified LEED Platinum at approximately 50% energy cost savings.


Designed to take advantage of natural sunlight, the dealership features 24 skylights in its service department and 12 tubular daylighting devices for retail space. Insulated metal wall panels – commonly used in refrigerated warehouses – were utilized to maintain internal temperature while protecting the dealership from exterior climate changes. With an assembly R-value of R-16, the building eliminates the thermal breaks typically experienced with metal buildings. Additionally, high bay overhead doors include insulated panels and the roof’s insulation incorporates thermal blocks, minimizing thermal breaks in the roof structure. Temperatures are maintained by a high efficiency 16 SEER VAV which provides cooling, heating, and external air to the retail space. This is combined with CO2 demand controlled ventilation. Hot water is sourced by a combination of a waste oil boiler and natural gas boiler. The waste extracted from everyday oil changes at the facilities service shop, is stored on-site and utilized throughout the winter to offset natural gas use. Radiant slab heating minimizes heat loss during the frequent bay door open and close cycles. Two wind turbines provide electric power to the facility, offsetting 8% of the building’s load.

From CNN:

The town’s John Deere dealership also used the opportunity created by the tornado to start over. Its new state-of-the-art facility uses recycled oil to heat and cool its floors, wind turbines to create electrical power and lights that don’t require electricity.

“There’s a tube that comes down from the roof and it is mirrored inside, so it actually collects the light,” said Mike Estes, a fourth-generation owner of the dealership. Estes learned so much about building green that he started a separate wind turbine business.

“We thought our farmer customers could really benefit from this,” he said. “If they are saving money on their energy, they have … disposable income that they can spend anywhere on their farm.”

The John Deere dealership will save money as well. It cost Estes a lot more up front to build this way, but he estimated his business will save about $25,000 a year in energy costs.

Daniel Wallach is optimistic these types of savings will continue to attract people looking for sustainable building solutions in Kansas and beyond.

“This town is definitely an example for the rest of the world. We have people from around the world coming out of their way to come to Greensburg,” he said. “So it’s a great place for people to come and have an emerging experience with what a town of the future looks like and feels like.”


Interactive Links:

Explore what makes this John Deere dealership a sustainable facility: BTI — Greensburg, Kansas

Live Web Cam from Greenburg’s Deere Dealership: Hastco Construction


Greensburg – Green Town, BTI Equipment, CNN

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