Bob's Wheel Alignment "Goes Green"

By: Myles Henderson Email
By: Myles Henderson Email

July 16th, 2009

Another local business is "going green." You may not notice it driving by because this greener building is a bit unexpected.

Bob's Wheel Alignment has been a staple on Market Street in Charlottesville since 1981. But now maybe the most unlikely of businesses, an auto repair shop, is going green. Owner Bob Archer says, "I didn't understand it all to begin with but now that we went through it all, it's a big change as far as the environment is concerned."

Bob's new shop now has several green features aimed at making the building more energy efficient and better for the environment. The most hidden feature is an underground water management system. "On this property alone, we are containing every bit of water before it goes into the storm drain." Water runoff from the parking lots drain into a bio-filter that cleans the dirt and oil residue out. The cleaner water is collected with the runoff from the roof gutters in a 2,500 gallon tank. Archer says, "Pretty soon we'll have it set up where they can pump water out of that tank if they need it to water flowers and stuff with."

The roof of the shop is metal made from 25% recycled content designed to reflect solar radiation. That keeps the roof temperature up to 100 degrees cooler. Also as part of the roof design four new skylights mean less energy used for lighting. "We don't even have to have the shop lights on in the ceiling during that day when it's a sunny day outside," says Archer.

"Anybody who comes by and goes into the shop says it's unbelievable. We have had a lot of compliments on the shop and people can't believe how much lighter it is, brighter it is, and cooler it is."

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