Innovation That Matters

Retailer's new store will supply its own energy


US drug-store chain Walgreens claims to have built the nation's first zero energy retail store in Evanston, Illinois.

We’ve already seen a zero energy field house built at a Vermont school, but recently we came across a similar innovation in the retail world. Specifically, US drug-store chain Walgreens has just announced that it’s building what it claims will be the nation’s first zero energy retail store in Evanston, Illinois. Walgreens will rely on a combination of several technologies to help it generate electricity and reduce its energy usage by more than 40 percent. These include more than 800 rooftop solar panels, two wind turbines, and geothermal energy obtained by drilling 550 feet into the ground below the store, where temperatures are more constant and can be tapped to heat or cool the store in winter and summer. Energy-efficient building materials, LED lighting, daylight harvesting, and carbon dioxide refrigerant for heating, cooling and refrigeration equipment are also part of the plan. According to engineering estimates, the store will use 200,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year but generate 256,000 kilowatt hours per year. Walgreens hopes to achieve LEED Platinum status with the store, which it will also enter into the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge. A Facebook page has been set up for those interested in following the new store’s two-year journey to net zero status. It’s hard to imagine a better way to achieve eco-creds with today’s green-minded consumers than a net-zero store – not to mention all the many other benefits associated with sustainability. Other retailers around the globe: one to consider? Spotted by: Raymond Kollau



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