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SANFORD, N.C. - The convenience store industry is seeing green. The Pantry, Inc., a leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S., has opened the first c-store in the United States to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The LEED Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance "green" buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
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In building the new Kangaroo store, which opened earlier this month in Gainesville, Fla., The Pantry used as many materials as possible from the demolition of the car dealership previously on the site. Material that could not be reused was separated out and recycled to keep it out of the landfill. Only low-toxin materials were used in the construction, according to the retailer, and the store features extensive day-lighting and low-voltage fluorescent light fixtures. The landscaping utilizes native and adaptive Florida plants, which will not need irrigation after they are established.
The new store is 5,150 square feet and has five Kangaroo-brand gasoline dispensers as well as two diesel lanes. The store also has an electrical vehicle charging station.
"We are very pleased to unveil this innovative new store design, which we developed in conjunction with academics at the University of Florida," said Peter Sodini, chairman and c.e.o. of The Pantry, in a statement. "While our construction costs were about 15 percent more than they would have been using traditional methods, our payback should be quick because we will be using 25 percent less energy than a conventional built store. This is a model for the convenience store industry, and we plan to integrate as many elements of this project as possible into our standard designs as we accelerate our new store construction efforts over the next couple of years."