Meijer Opens LEED-Certified Green Store in Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Aiming to save customers green by building green, Meijer Inc. here yesterday unveiled its third new store of this year in Allen Park, Michigan, which incorporates a number of environmentally friendly and sustainable design features.

Meijer stores built over the last several years have all included some sustainable design features, such as high efficiency lighting and low flow water systems. However, the newly-opened Meijer in Allen Park will receive certification as a LEED building (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit organization which uses the certification process to help companies establish goals and measure or monitor progress.

"This store embodies design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact on the environment and on our customers," said Hank Meijer, the family-held retailer's c.e.o. and vice chairman.

"This store, built on a former landfill, has transformed a once polluted and unusable area into a healthy building site that does not disrupt its environment," said Frank Remsburg, Meijer's director of engineering, energy and environment. "LEED certification requires specific and meaningful design and building components that add up to a beautiful but environmentally friendly store."

The Allen Park Meijer has the following built-in green elements:
- A large storm pond around the store, which allows storm water from the roof and parking areas to be absorbed into the soil, nourishing plants, filtering pollution and eventually allowing water to replenish the water table.

- A light-colored and highly reflective roof surface, which helps reflect rather than absorb sunlight. This reduces the amount of heat building up outside the store.

- Outdoor light fixtures with proper shielding, which keeps light contained rather than shining into the night sky or other adjacent areas, where it is not needed or helpful.

- Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood products, made from wood that was grown, harvested, transported and handled in the least damaging ways.

- Native Michigan plants located around the store, which reduces the amount of grass on the site so that little or no water is required to irrigate the landscaping.

- Sinks and toilets designed specifically for water efficiency.

- High-efficiency light fixtures, as well as advanced heating and cooling systems are all part of the green plan.

In 2007, Meijer will open a total of five stores, and plans to open seven more stores in 2008, all of which will include many of the green building practices used in the Allen Park store.

The new stores -- 210,000-square-feet or roughly three football fields in size -- are designed to move product quickly from the shipping area to the shelves, thus allowing for a more effective and efficient flow and assists in controlling costs, the company said.

Meijer is a family-owned retailer with 179 grocery and general merchandise supercenters throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.
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