Covington Ford's new location a 'green' building

A deep appreciation for the environment and community led Wendell B. Crowe to go the extra mile in the recent construction of his new Covington Ford dealership building.

Crowe decided to build his dealership according to LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, standards setforth by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The U.S. Green Building Council is a non-profit which offers guidelines on green building design, construction, operations and maintenance. The organization helps people create buildings that are more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and healthier for people.

"He could have built this a lot cheaper doing non-LEEDs," said his son Matt Crowe, who runs the Covington Ford Dealership with his father. "He wanted something different, to set a standard, something to hand down to us and his grandkids and their grandkids.

"It's my father's legacy to give something back to the environment and the community and he's setting the bar for other dealers to follow."

The building uses 35 percent less water and contains 20 percent recycled material. Sixty-percent of the waste from the construction was diverted from landfills. The building is also 100 percent non-smoking.

"I'm very proud of it," said Matt Crowe of the building. "It's a state of the art facility with state of the art equipment."

Established in 1941 by Wendell W. Crowe, the father of current owner Wendell B. Crowe, the Covington Ford Dealership first opened on Clark St. off the Square in Covington and sold used cars at the time because new cars were not available due to the economy.

The dealership then moved to Highway 278, where it operated for 50 years, and the younger Wendell Crowe took over the dealership in 1974.

The Covington Ford Dealership opened its new location at 9101 Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue in September. Matt Crowe said that "business has doubled," since opening.

The lot size to display the cars has increased from 3 to 6 acres, making it easier to maneuver through the lot, said Matt Crowe. Service drop-off areas are covered to keep customers out of the weather and there are two quick lanes for light maintenance.

"Our business is now more service oriented as far as customer satisfaction. We just want people when they come in the door to have a good experience," said Matt Crowe. "We want it to be a friendly atmosphere and something people want to come to."