Madison, Wis., Hy-Vee Earns LEED Gold Certification

Hy-Vee’s supermarket in Madison — its first in the state of Wisconsin — has received the prestigious LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This is the first Hy-Vee store to achieve recognition under the LEED certification system, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings.

Executives from the West Des Moines, Iowa-based regional grocery chain said the company is both proud and gratified to have earned the gold (second-highest) level certification on its first LEED application.

“Hy-Vee’s long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility is reflected in every aspect of our store operations,” said Mike Smith, Hy-Vee’s director of real estate and sustainability. “By designing and building stores that meet the highest standards for sustainability, we are fulfilling our company’s mission of making lives easier, healthier and happier.”

Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of USGBC, said the Madison Hy-Vee’s LEED certification demonstrates leadership in green building practices.

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” Fedrizzi explained. “"The Madison Hy-Vee project efficiently uses our natural resources and makes an immediate, positive impact on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations.”

Jeff Markey, assistant VP of engineering and construction for Hy-Vee, said the Madison store site was selected based on its proximity to public transportation and residential neighborhoods, and the potential to incorporate portions of the existing building and parking lot. “The store was designed to maximize reuse of the existing structure,” Markey said. “This was an abandoned retail site that we were able to put back into service for the community.”

Among the other green features of the project that helped it earn LEED Gold certification:

—Recycled or locally sourced materials were used in the construction of the building and parking lot, with more than 90 percent of construction waste diverted from landfills
—Water quality equipment installed on-site removes pollutants from rainwater before it enters the public sewer system
—Native grasses and perennial plantings used in landscaping eliminate the need for irrigation, fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides
—Energy cost savings in excess of 30 percent have been achieved through the use of high-energy heating, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, low-E windows, a highly reflective roof, large windows and skylights providing natural light, and motion sensors activating LED lights in refrigerated cases
—Low-flow, motion-activated toilets and hand sinks reduce potable water use by 40 percent
—No ozone-depleting chemicals are used in refrigeration
—Paint and wall coverings, adhesives, carpeting and decor elements with low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been used throughout the building to reduce exposure to potentially harmful substances. Carbon dioxide monitors automatically adjust building ventilation to assure indoor air quality
—A recycling center for store-generated materials, shower facilities and changing rooms for employees and an information center for customers help promote Hy-Vee’s commitment to sustainability

Dennis Ausenhus, Hy-Vee’s SVP of real estate and engineering, said the company's $16 million investment in the Madison store and its decision to build the store to LEED certification standards are evidence of the grocer’s desire to be a good neighbor and a catalyst for change in the community. “It’s gratifying to have our efforts recognized with LEED gold certification, but from the outset, our primary goal has been to redevelop this site to provide an aesthetic, economic and environmental boost to the community,” Ausenhus said. “By all those measures, our new Madison store has been a success.”

The employee-owned Hy-Vee operates 228 retail stores in eight Midwestern states.
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