STORE SPACES

Darden Restaurants headquarters awarded LEED Gold

BY CSA STAFF

Orlando, Fla. Darden Restaurants said that its new corporate headquarters building in Orlando, Fla., has been officially awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for New Construction from the United States Green Building Council. The 469,000-sq.-ft. facility, which opened in September, is the largest LEED Gold NC building in Florida.

Darden has undertaken a number of initiatives as part of its sustainability efforts, including:

  • Setting goals to reduce per-restaurant energy and water use by 15% by 2015 and, long term, to send zero waste to landfills;
  • Creating Green Teams in each of its 1,800 restaurants that focus on implementing programs aimed at reducing waste and energy and water usage; and
  • Using LEED standards in its restaurant design process for all new restaurants and, where feasible, restaurant remodels.

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AAFES seeks LEED Silver for exchange

BY CSA STAFF

Dallas The Army & Air Force Exchange Service has opened its first exchange designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The exchange, at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, is expected to receive LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council within the year.

“We take very seriously the impact our facilities have on the environment,” said Col. Virgil Williams, AAFES chief of staff. “Using excess energy and failing to recycle is not only wasteful and costly but also a burden on the Earth.”

Some of the key energy saving features of the location include:

  • Light-emitting diodes (LED) in showcases that use less energy and generate brighter lighting;
  • Food court restaurants with energy-efficient walk-in coolers that use 27% less energy;
  • Energy-management system coordinates heating, ventilating, air conditioning and lighting systems in unison to improve energy efficiency and reduce overall costs;
  • Low “gallons per flush” toilets and waterless urinals; and
  • Roofing membranes reflect 78% of light/ultraviolet rays to keep buildings cooler and reduce energy costs.

In 2009, AAFES designed 30 construction projects to meet LEED standards. Projects range from BXs/Post Exchanges (PX), shoppettes (convenience stores), to mini-malls and restaurants. Not only does the environment benefit from the high “green” standards at which the facilities will operate, but thousands are saved in utility costs. LEED shopping centers, such as the Randolph AFB BX for example, save 25%-30% in annual energy costs.

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Whole Foods pledges to cut energy use 25% by 2015

BY CSA STAFF

Austin, Texas Whole Foods Market announced Tuesday a company-wide strengthened sustainability initiative that would reduce energy consumption 25% per sq. ft. by 2015.

The grocer also committed to wind energy, more on-site renewable energy, and aggressive green building, advanced refrigeration and transportation practices, designed to produce significant emissions reductions.

“With this combination of strategies, we intend to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 25% per square foot by 2015,” said Kathy Loftus, Whole Foods Market global leader, sustainable engineering. “Saving energy costs less than buying it, so we are reducing our energy appetite from both traditional and renewable sources.”

Several of Whole Foods’ new stores have been awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill certification, recognizing eco-friendly commercial refrigeration systems. One early example of reduced energy is the Whole Foods in Santa Barbara, Calif., which the company said uses 45% less energy than a nearby store of comparable size.

As part of a Department of Energy partnership, Whole Foods was awarded resources to design new stores and retrofit older ones. The program pairs the grocer with National Renewable Energy Labs to create, test and validate design concepts that will move toward net-zero energy commercial buildings.

This is the fourth year that Whole Foods Market will offset 100% of its North American electricity use with wind energy credits. This year, the company will purchase more than 810,000 mWh of renewable energy credits, adding clean energy to power grids.

Whole Foods also has 15 locations supplementing traditional power with solar, with more in development. It has nearly 30 stores that are either LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or Green Globes certified, registered or in development.

The latest store to announce LEED Gold is the Upper West Side store, in Manhattan.

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