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Whole Foods Earns 'Green' Building Certification

AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market here has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification for its new Sarasota store by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the natural and organic food chain said yesterday.

The Sarasota store, opened Dec. 8, 2004, is located in downtown Sarasota, Fla. at First Street and Lemon Avenue. It was designed based on the LEED Green Building Rating System.

Of the nearly 2,000 applications received since the inception of the LEED program in 2000, just 300 buildings worldwide have been awarded certification, according to Whole Foods. The Sarasota Whole Foods Market is the sixth building in Florida to receive LEED certification.

The USGBC, which promotes buildings that are environmentally responsible and healthy places to live and work, established the LEED rating system to provide guidelines and ideas for improved, more environmentally conscious construction and development. LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.

"In short, this LEED-certified supermarket responds to a global need -- the necessity for our planet's buildings to be built in tandem with the environment," said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president, c.e.o., and founding chair. "The Sarasota Whole Foods Market is to be congratulated for the certification in that it will enhance our environment and serve as a model for other supermarkets."

Several of the key LEED elements of the Sarasota Whole Foods Market building include:

-- A water treatment system designed to capture two-thirds of the roof water, which is filtered back into the building and used for all cleaning purposes

-- Recycled materials throughout

-- Nontoxic, environmentally friendly public art work

-- Monitoring systems to provide continuous energy performance data for annual analysis

-- A building R-value (insulation level) surpassing the minimum standard

-- A high-tech, highly reflective, white energy-saving roof system

-- Skylights throughout to provide maximum daylight

-- High-performance mechanical and electrical systems

-- Nontoxic, low-odor paint
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