Columbus Giant Eagle Store Earns LEED Gold-Certification

Giant Eagle, Inc. said it has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for its store near the Columbus, Ohio suburb of New Albany. The 75,000-square-foot unit, opened in August 2007, earned Gold LEED certification following an eight-month review process, the grocer said.

The award "underscores Giant Eagle's commitment to environmental responsibility," said Robert Garrity, who is the chain's s.v.p. of sustainability. "It is a continuation of our work thus far, and a step toward future initiatives."

Among the features of the LEED Gold-certified Giant Eagle are:
- Natural light -- 82 skylights, integrated with the electrical lights, to deliver daylight while offering a consistent lighting level and minimizing electricity usage.
- Fresh air -- Air quality sensors constantly monitor for carbon dioxide to ensure fresh, clean air throughout the store. Air quality is improved by the use of adhesives, sealants, paints, carpeting and wood products that are low in volatile organic compounds.
-Water conservation - In the parking lot, Giant Eagle planted drought-tolerant vegetation that requires no irrigation.
-Water retention - A retention pond holds excess water, preventing it from contributing to the storm water peak flows that affect many natural rivers and streams.
- Energy savings -- The store is designed to consume 20 percent less energy than comparable conventionally designed supermarkets, with all of the store's electricity produced by green energy sources. Also, increased insulation, an Energy Star roof, and the use of daylight help the store save energy year round.
- Cleaner atmosphere -- The store uses no-ozone-depleting refrigerants in its refrigeration and cooling systems.
-Recycling and recycled materials - The supermarket chain sent the majority of construction waste, such as steel and drywall, to other companies for reuse. Nearly all wood used in the site is harvested from sustainable services. All cabinetry is free of urea formaldehyde and all gypsum wallboard is made from 10 percent recycled materials.  Nearly all food by products, such as cooking oil and trimmings, are transformed into other areas including bio-diesel fuel, animal feed, and lubricants.

LEED is a national green building rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). To earn certification, a building project must meet certain prerequisites and performance benchmarks ("credits") within each category. Projects are awarded Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum certification depending on the number of credits they achieve.

Giant Eagle operates or supplies 159 corporate and 61 independently owned supermarkets and 146 GetGo fuel and c-stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia, and Maryland.
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