Environment

A Closer Look at LEED Technology

Want to know more about our LEED certified structures? This is the place to satiate your curiosity about geothermal energy, thermal walls, high-velocity electric hand dryers and lots of other innovative technologies used in LEED construction and design.

Solar Power Puts Carbon in Its Place

Energy conservation is a cornerstone of the LEED philosophy. In our Minnesota and Utah facilities, we get enough clean energy from solar panels to prevent 97,500 pounds of fossil fuel-sourced carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Lights, Sensors, Action!

What's one of the best ways to save energy? Turn out the lights. Because our buildings were designed with expansive walls of windows, we take advantage of sunlight during the day. Not only does warm, natural light decrease electricity use, it increases employee satisfaction and productivity. We amplify the indoor sunshine by painting the ceilings and walls with high-reflectivity paint as well as installing dozens of solar tubes throughout our buildings.

When it's dark or cloudy, we flip the switch on high-efficiency fluorescent bulbs. Consuming a fraction of the energy of incandescent bulbs, they produce little heat and last up to five years.

Of course, we don't trust managing all those light switches to our short-term memories. Timers and sensors control interior and external lights, further reducing power consumption.

Geothermal Heating and Cooling

In Utah, we heat and cool our building using geothermal energy. Relying on the constant temperature of the earth's crust (50 to 60 F), the system pumps refrigerant through tubes deep underground. In the summer, the liquid is cooled. In the winter, it is heated. HVAC units use the refrigerant to cool or heat the building. No fossil fuels are consumed during the process.

Thermal Walls Create Comfortable Year-Round Temps

The walls of the Utah facility are built with thermal-wall technology. Two cement slabs sandwich a layer of insulation, absorb heat or coolness from the building's structure, and dissipate it throughout the rooms, increasing overall comfort.

White Roof Reduces Air-Conditioning Costs

Our white roof naturally cools the building by reflecting the sun's rays. This saves air-conditioning costs and greatly reduces heat-island effect.

Capturing 360 Degrees of Sunshine

The Q-West distribution center gets 39.6 kilowatts of energy from a rooftop array of highly efficient cylindrical solar cells. This unique design lets the panels capture sunlight across 360 degrees, boosting energy output. Lighter than conventional solar panels, the system requires less supporting infrastructure.

Saving Rivers of Water—One Flush at a Time

Our bathrooms in Minnesota and Utah feature an arsenal of water-stingy technologies, including waterless urinals that save about 45,000 gallons of H2O a year in Minnesota; dual-flush toilets; low-flow showerheads in bike commuter locker rooms; sensor-operated water faucets; and high-velocity electric hand dryers that eliminate hand towels and use 80 percent less energy than traditional units.

Blending Old, New and Local Materials

The distribution centers in Minnesota and Utah utilize old materials and new resources made from post-industrial and post-consumer content. 10% of construction purchases for the Utah facility were from local sources. Using regionally extracted and manufactured goods reduced transport costs and fuel consumption, lowered emissions of greenhouse gases and boosted area economies.

Reducing Waste with Floor Tiles

Floors in the office areas were covered with carpet tiles instead of traditional roll carpet. Not only did this reduce manufacturing waste, but individual tiles are easily replaced when worn. In some areas, recycled rubber flooring provides a tough and durable alternative to synthetic or virgin rubber.

Preserving Forests with Tree-Friendly Conference Rooms

Conference rooms include wood products certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). In Utah, the mezzanine deck is constructed of an Eco-Friendly composite made from recycled plastics.

Indoor Environmental Quality

From non-toxic wood composites, carpets, paints and adhesives to expansive windows that provide natural light and views of woodland and mountains, we strive to create an atmosphere that nurtures mind, body and spirit.

Breathing Easier with Low VOC Paints

The interior paints have low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC), greatly reducing off-gasses that can impede air quality.

Creating Healthier Air Flow with High-Tech Ventilation

In Minnesota, high-efficiency HVAC system and high ceilings improve airflow, maximizing occupant comfort. LEED-certified HVAC&R systems use no CFCs, HCFCs Halons or other substances destructive to the ozone layer. In Utah, high-efficiency warehouse fans offset the temperature by five degrees.

Big Windows Make a Sunny Work Place

In Utah, 69 prismatic skylights and more than 3,000 square feet of windows let the sunshine in and give every employee a view. This creates a happier, healthier, more productive workforce and reduces energy consumption.

Energy Efficient Floors are Foot Friendly

In Utah, radiant-heat floors in the locker rooms feel nice on the feet and provide an energy efficient alternative to forced air. The buffed floor in the distribution does not require painting, saving long-term maintenance costs.

Composting for Community

In Minnesota, QBP partners with Hennepin County to compost all organic material. Our mounds of biomass include food scraps, pizza boxes, paper towels, coffee grounds, biodegradable utensils, napkins and more. One third of all our waste is composted, producing tons of organic compost the county uses to reclaim marginal soils, prevent erosion, and add rich nutrients to public gardens, golf courses and playing fields.

Saving Trees with Paperless Billing & Payment

Our Automated Clearing House (ACH) allows dealers to pay invoices without writing and mailing a check. Dealers who sign up for ACH terms get a discount of $.50 per invoice. We also offer an environmental credit of $.25 per invoice when they sign up for electronic invoicing.