Saturday, July 4, 2009

Supermarket buildings and green design_Minnestoa Cub Foods Store Receives LEED Gold

Today I was overjoyed to read about a Cub Foods Store in Minnesota to recieve LEED for New Commercial Construction - Gold level certification. This means this could be a model supermarket building of energy efficiency, effective daylighting and hopefully a great place to shop. Apparently there are only two others like this in the country. There are roughly 47,000 supermarkets including smaller independant ones around the country(from 2006 federal data). Given the high number and visibility of supermarkets around the country there is a great business oppourtunity I feel to convert existing market buildings or designing and building new ones to higher standards. Based on data from the USGBC and other sources where other building types have shown positive performance in regards to higher employee productivity, reduced energy costs, worker satisfaction, reduced absenteeism and similar factors, there is a strong case for going "green".
Here's why: I think most significantly, grocery stores and their owners have a longer time-horizon, often remaining on the same site for generations. Focusing on ways to reduce costs and ensure greater predictability in energy costs should be a priority for smart, forward looking financial and facility executives where they have more than a few stores in a region to operate. As well, it's likely, the largest cost for them is staff costs such as salaries, benefits etc. With the longer time horizon and need to control staff and facility costs, going green is extremely beneficial. Last summer's spike in food prices driven by high rises of energy costs should be a wake up call. For stores to be competitive in a unpredictable energy future, steady stating their energy costs as much as possible will only help them be more successuful than their competition.
Given there's only three stores like this in the nation, it's a fairly small number to study the effects. However, it's a great oppourtunity to make a difference and positively change the world for generations to come. In a couple of years hopefully Cub Foods or others can study the impact of this green store on their bottom line as well as their corporate brand. I wish them the best in their efforts to change their behavior. And perhaps others may follow in their footsteps...

(image from the web)

No comments: