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  • [ April 1, 2013 ]
  • Walgreens will build the first net-zero retail store in the U.S.

Image courtesy of Walgreens Net Zero Community Facebook page.

A Walgreens in Evanston, Illinois will be the nation’s first net-zero energy retail store, generating as much energy as it uses in the course of a year.

Walgreens estimates the 14,000-sq. ft. drug store will generate about 256,000 kWh of electricity a year and use only about 200,000 kWh. The existing store will be torn down, and the new store will have typical block and brick walls with an insulated metal roof. Because of the nature of the building (many customers entering and exiting), the building design will prioritize energy production from renewable sources rather than energy savings.

The building plans include the following features:

  • 850 rooftop photovoltaic panels, with a generating capacity of 225 kWh.
  • Two vertical-axis wind turbines, with 6 kW capacity.
  • A ground-source heat pump using eight 550-foot deep wells.
  • LED lighting.
  • Carbon dioxide refrigeration equipment.

The building will be completed and open for business in November 2013.

As a company, Walgreens is dedicated to energy efficiency beyond developing the first retail net-zero building. The company has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge and committed to cut energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020. Over 150 Walgreens stores nationwide have solar power, two are LEED-gold certified, and 400 have electric vehicle charging stations.

“We want, as a company, to help people get, stay and live well,” Jamie Meyers, Walgreens manager of sustainability, said. “Part of living well is minimizing our impact on the environment, and so we have an opportunity with having 8,000 locations to have an impact. It’s important to us.”

For more information on the Evanston net-zero project, click here.

Source: Walgreens Plans a Net-Zero Store, GreenBuildingAdvisor.com

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