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Hannaford Goes for Platinum

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hannaford.jpgSustainably designed, LEED-certified grocery stores are going up rapid fire these days, and now comes one claiming to be the greenest of them all. This Saturday, Hannaford will open what it hopes will become the country’s first Platinum LEED certified supermarket.

Those in the retail business know: Platinum certification is the granddaddy of them all, the most prestigious, most hard-won symbol of environmentally responsible design out there. And Hannaford has taken some pretty complex, innovative steps in getting their new store, located in Augusta, Maine, up to snuff.

For starters, the company decided to place the store on a preexisting site — a former high school — rather than develop new land. When it did tear down the old building, it made sure to recycle between 96 and 99% of the materials removed. In building the store, Hannaford made sure to provide ample daylighting and install high-efficiency overhead lights. Much of the company’s energy needs come via a large solar panel array, and a high-tech GreenChill refrigeration system means the company will use 50% less energy than a conventional system. To heat the store during cold Maine winters, Hannaford installed a setup that will repurpose energy generated elsewhere in the system, thus cutting down on inputs consumption.

It’s all enough to make a non-technical person like myself go cross-eyed. But it’s another positive step for the industry, and according to Hannaford all the new features should combine to create the same convenient grocery experience that people are used to. (photo courtesy of doortoriver)

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