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Eco Dealership a first for SA

20.02.2013

KIA MOTOR CORPORATION launched the first eco-friendly car dealership in Southern Africa last week. The Weltevreden Park dealership is the first to receive the eco-makeover, which took one year to complete.

Kia’s new-car dealership network has grown from just 12 when the brand arrived in South Africa to 68 currently. Several other dealerships are in the process of renovations that are set to be completed in the near future. 

Kia has opened 12 new dealerships in the past 18 months. The Weltevreden Park branch kills the proverbial two birds with one stone, by addressing its need for a brand presence in the West Rand while providing itself with a flagship dealer. In addition to the new look, Kia has also just completed a new 14 000sqm parts warehouse in Germiston.

Eco-friendly products were used in the construction of the dealership. Materials such as reinforced recycled steel and max fly ash were added to the concrete mix to lower the dealership’s carbon footprint. The glass used throughout the dealership is tinted and allows for better temperature control and therefore lessens the need for air-conditioning.

Lead-free paint was used in tune with the eco-theme, as well as the use of an indigenous garden that requires less watering than an exotic variety of flora would. Using motion sensors, the building will restrict power supply when a lack of motion is detected, as would be experienced over weekends or at night.

Other energy saving measures such as energy efficient light fitting and a solar-powered geyser are employed. The dealership has a total of 288 solar panels, of which 73 are on the used car section’s roof and the remaining panels on the roof of the main dealership. The panels generate a maximum of 69kW, which will be sent to three converters that will go directly into the load, providing a capacity of 240 Volts and 50Hz.

The solar panels provide electricity to the entire dealership. Any surplus energy is stored into the battery banks on the premises and is used when solar power cannot be generated. One of the four battery packs is said to be able to run the dealership for 12 hours. The solar power concept works well in South Africa because our high ratio of sunny days makes energy generation possible.

A water-filtration system uses rain water that is collected and purified by means of electro-coagulation and then the O-zone additive, which removes bacteria. The purified water will water the garden, wash the cars and provide water for the sewage system. It is said that up to 95% of the water used at the dealership will be reused.

Article written by Sean Nurse
20.02.2013
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