The Strack & Van Til grocery store at 9605 Lincoln Plaza in Cedar Lake, Indiana has received a LEED silver certification. To celebrate, Strack & Van Til is hosting an Earth Day event on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 where a plaque commemorating this achievement will be unveiled. In addition, the first 500 shoppers at the Cedar Lake store that day will receive free recyclable shopping bags and other eco-friendly items.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive a LEED designation, projects must satisfy certain prerequisites and earn points based on a set of rating systems. The program was developed by the U.S Green Building Council to help building owners and operators become more environmentally responsible and use resources more efficiently.
“Built with the most innovative technologies available, this Strack & Van Til is a state-of-the-art store offering residents in the community a full line of groceries, perishables and convenience items,” said Dave S. Wilkinson, Strack & Van Til president. “Our goal was to do more than provide a comfortable, natural shopping experience for our customers. We also felt it was important to minimize our impact on the planet. This store does both.”
He explained that LEED certified buildings save energy, lower site impact and provide pleasant interiors. To qualify, Strack & Van Til implemented practical and measurable strategies and solutions to achieve high performance in sustainable site development, materials selection, water savings, energy efficiency, and indoor environmental quality.
To begin with, the 49,583-square-foot store was built on an exiting retail site and Strack & Van Til recycled as much of the prior supermarket’s contents and building shell as possible. Concrete from the previous structure and parking lot was recycled and used in building the new store. Plus, more than 90% of the construction waste was separated and recycled to minimize the impact on landfills.
“Recycling continues even now that the store is open,” said Wilkinson. “Our in-house programs include recycling of cardboard and boxes, plastic bags, packaging, and cooking oil along with donations of food to local charities.”
In alignment with Strack & Van Til’s commitment to the communities in which it serves, more than 10% of the construction materials were procured from local and regional sources within 500 miles.
Rather than using a rubber-based roof that absorbs heat, Strack & Van Til chose a white thermoplastic polyolefin roof that reflects 75% of UV rays. Combined with R-30 ceiling insulation, the entire store stays cooler with less effort. Also on the roof, high-efficiency condensers remove waste heat and are about one-third the size of typical condensers and require 30% less refrigeration.
“By being LEED certified, we have lowered this store’s ongoing energy costs by tens of thousands of dollars each year,” said Wilkinson.
Exterior walls are precast insulated concrete panels with an R-value of 24, which exceeds ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) standards by 15%. Floors are made of polished concrete, which requires no waxing or stripping agents for cleaning, making them more environmentally sensitive and easier to maintain. Additionally, all materials, paints and coatings are low emitting volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
“Using these cutting-edge technologies allows us to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our Cedar Lake store,” said Wilkinson.
To conserve water on an ongoing basis, Strack & Van Til incorporated features such as non-irrigation landscaping and sensors on water-saving faucets, decreasing the amount of water used by 30%. Plus, waste heat created by the refrigeration system is recaptured to heat water for day-to-day use.
The distributive refrigeration design systems also conserve energy. The units are small and placed close to the refrigerated cases, thus lessening the size and amount of construction material needed as well as refrigerant charges.
Not only is the refrigeration equipment monitored to ensure optimal efficiency, lighting, air conditioning and heating systems are, too. Other energy-saving steps Strack & Van Til introduced include adding night curtains in the produce, meat and deli departments. When they are pulled down over cold cases, they seal in cool air to cut down on energy costs and product spoilage. The meat, produce and dairy departments also have glass case doors rather than open cases, resulting in a 60% reduction in energy consumption. Display cases along with accent lighting are equipped with LED bulbs that produce less heat and have a longer life than incandescent or fluorescent lights.m Because of all these steps taken, the store consumes 30% less energy that what is required by ASHRAE standards and 20% less than an average conventional supermarket.
“These operations and building management practices effectively reduce the store’s overall impact on the environment,” said Wilkinson.
In addition to being energy efficient, Strack & Van Til’s Cedar Lake store is welcoming and inviting to shoppers. Multiple skylights and perimeter windows create a comfortable shopping experience while saving energy on lighting. Photo-sensors measure the amount of daylight from outdoors and adjust the electrical lighting consumption by 50% in the main shopping area. Plus, new carbon dioxide sensors and high-grade air filters help keep the air inside the store fresh all day long.
“Putting the customer first has always been Strack & Van Til’s mantra,” said Wilkinson. “Being able to combine a pleasant shopping experience with an environmentally sensitive design allows us to serve our community responsibly today and into the future.”
A family managed retailer, Strack & Van Til operates 20 full-service food stores and has a solid reputation throughout northwest Indiana for providing exceptional customer service and exceeding shoppers’ expectations.
At its Cedar Lake store, Strack & Van Til offers a full line of groceries and perishables in its meat, produce, deli, bakery, and seafood departments. All fresh beef, pork, and poultry are USA-produced, and Strack & Van Til is one of the top Certified Angus Beef retailers in the country. In grocery and non-foods, stores carry national and strong local brands along with Centrella private label to provide honest everyday value.