Fred Meyer Goes Green in Portland, Ore., with LEED Silver

Fred Meyer, the larger-format grocery and general merchandise chain operated by The Kroger Co., has been  awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification for its remodeled store in Portland, Ore. It is the first LEED-certified supermarket among Kroger’s 2,500 units nationwide.

The renovation boosted the store’s efficiency. Kroger’s in-house economic analysis determined that for every dollar spend on the project, nine dollars in energy consumption would be saved down the road.

“Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of sustainable design,” said Randy Sauer, principal, MulvannyG2, Bellevue, Wash., which designed the store.

The remodel maintains the same basic footprint as the site’s original 1950s-era Fred Meyer, yet heightens the visual and logistical connection to the surrounding neighborhood, known for its activism and eco-consciousness. It adds 3,000 sq. ft. to the original store’s 125,000 sq. ft.

The design returns the store to its original street-friendly concept, and engages pedestrians with sidewalk cafes and large windows that allow more daylight into the store and provide more sightlines from the street. It breaks up the typically large, imposing massing of big-box stores with the use of exterior paint that alludes to colors in the neighborhood.

As part of the remodel, the store’s structural framework was exposed, which eliminated the expense and need for additional cladding. Also, the store’s original green concrete floor was discovered under a layer of vinyl flooring and retained.

Among the 12 design elements that contribute to the store’s LEED certification are:

  •  A heat recovery system, which collects hot air from the refrigeration system to heat water for the rest of the building, boosts efficiency for ventilation and refrigeration;
  • Rainwater collected from the roof cools the store’s refrigeration units;
  • Recycled steel used in building’s structural framing;
  • Increased insulation on exterior walls reduces energy costs;
  • Larger windows and skylight allow for increased daylight, lessening dependence on electricity;
  • The concrete floors are a recycled material;
  • Low VOC materials and finishes improve indoor air quality; and
  • The use of materials that do not require chemicals to be kept clean.
     

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