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Supervalu-owned Acme Markets this week opened what it said is the first environmentally friendly supermarket in the Philadelphia area.
The new store was built according to the specifications of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council, and is the first supermarket in the Philadelphia area to complete the LEED building process from construction to completion, said Acme.
To educate shoppers on the green aspects of the design, the store installed educational plaques in various departments detailing the green initiatives behind the construction of each.
"We want to use this building to demonstrate the environmental innovations that are possible with today's technology," said Acme president Judy Spires. "We have installed plaques throughout the store to educate our customers about our green initiatives. In addition, this new store brings a great selection of quality products and offerings to our customers."
The store has more than 30 skylights to save energy while creating a comfortable shopping experience. Energy-efficient lighting systems have been incorporated in the refrigerated cases, along with accent lighting and overall store illumination developed to reduce energy consumption by 64 percent while preventing spoilage and heat emissions. In addition, water-saving fixtures will conserve approximately 112,000 gallons of drinkable water per year, said Acme.
"It all goes back to what your mom taught you," said Spires. "Turn off the lights, shut the refrigerator door, and make sure everything works properly. When that comes together on such a large scale like a grocery store - everyone wins."
Acme will hold a grand opening celebration April 25 that includes a tour highlighting the store's 'green' elements, such as:
- Fresh air: Carbon dioxide sensors and enhanced ventilation designed to keep the air inside the store clean.
- Natural lighting: More than 30 skylights were installed to save energy while creating a comfortable shopping experience.
- LED lighting: Refrigerated cases use LED lighting, which produce light more efficiently, create less heat, and seldom needs replacement, said Acme.
- Reflective roofing: The white roof was installed to reflect the sun's rays, reducing the need to for air conditioning and reducing the "heat island" effect which can cause higher outdoor temperatures in urban areas.
- Recycling: Acme used materials high in recycled content whenever possible for the store's construction, and most of the construction waste was recycled,
- Energy efficiency: Acme used energy modeling of the building systems to design it to consume 18 percent less energy than conventional supermarkets.
- Water conservation: Water-saving faucets and fixtures have been installed in the restrooms, and the parking lot landscaping requires no irrigation.
- Sustainable forestry: The majority of the wood used in this store was harvested from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests.
The store will feature Acme's "Premium Fresh & Healthy Offerings":
- A La Carte station: a carving station for prepared made-to-order salads and sandwiches
- Gourmet specialty bar
- Shrimp bar
- A new "Meal Beginnings" section allows customers to purchase easy-to-prepare meat and seafood entrees
- Cheese shop with 200 varieties of imported and domestic cheeses
- Main Street Buffet offers freshly made hot entrees and side dishes
- Full-service sushi bar
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Acme will donate a park bench made entirely from recycled plastic to a local park. The benches are constructed using Trex composite lumber that is manufactured from both store and customer generated plastic. Acme has recycled its plastic bags since 1993, but has recently expanded the program to include the creation of park benches.
Additionally, Acme will present over $280,000 in donations to various organizations.
Acme operates 130 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.