Schnucks Gearing Up for More Green Store Designs

Schnuck Markets, Inc. is embracing Earth Day this Wednesday as a milestone in its mission to strengthen its environmental commitment to build more earth-friendly stores and facilities.

After the St. Louis-based grocer’s introduction of a Green concept store in Newburgh, Ind., that showcased the latest advances in energy and water efficient technologies and building practices, the family-held Schnucks is gearing up for further expansion of the format with two new stores in the St. Louis area (downtown and Des Peres).

“Green design is good design,” said Ross Hutsel, Schnucks director of facilities engineering. “We must be good stewards for future generations. Everything we can do to help control our utility costs also helps us to continue to keep prices low for our customers – something very important especially during times of economic uncertainty.”

Noting that Newburgh store is almost 50 percent larger than the one it replaced yet its utility costs are the same, Hutsel said the grocer’s latest sustainability and Green initiatives focus on reducing energy and water use, reducing volume of landfill waste and increasing the use of recyclables and recycled materials. Building plans for all new stores include energy efficient lighting, water efficient plumbing fixtures and accessories and an energy management system to control lighting, air conditioning, heating and refrigeration. Hutsel added that a major focus has been in the area of refrigeration including energy efficient systems that use waste heat to support the store’s hot water requirements and refrigerated display cases with high efficiency components that further reduce energy consumption.

Once the new Des Peres store opens later this year, the company plans to apply for an Energy Star award, said Hutsel, noting that some additional features of the store, including skylights, self-compensating ventilation hoods to reduce the amount of conditioned air needed to balance the amount of air leaving the building, and high-efficiency water heaters with a single hot water piping loop to meet the store’s hot water demand.
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