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The Bottino family has ample reason to be ecstatic with early results its new flagship ShopRite in Vineland, N.J., which is profiled as PG's Store of the Month in the September 2012 issue. Opening its doors in early June less than two years from its start date, Jim Bottino, president and CEO, describes the journey as “extremely rewarding for everyone involved. The process of developing a store from beginning to end has been both challenging and educational. Every aspect of the process is important, from controlling costs, to making things more energy efficient, to designing an environment that gives the customer a great in-store experience.”
Beyond the principal enhancements with products and services, ShopRite of Vineland drastically cut operational costs by deploying cutting-edge technologies in refrigeration and lighting, including glass doors on the dairy and freezer cases, LED and T-8 lighting and environmentally-friendly refrigerant systems.
Vineland Shop Rite’s refrigeration, HVAC and lighting design fully embraces Emerson’s Intelligent Store architecture platform that leverages energy-efficient infrastructure components and state-of-the-art control strategies in order to provide increased reliability, and reduced maintenance and energy costs.
The mastermind behind the visionary design elements was store planner Frank J. Vadino, VP of Engineering for Blackwood, N.J.-based Cold Technology: “We wanted to incorporate the same distributed design and control methodologies utilized in our refrigeration designs into our HVAC, lighting, and power distribution designs,” all of which he says “minimized expenditures on infrastructure such as pipe, wire, sheet metal, and structure and rather invested in energy efficient equipment and control technologies” that would generate maximum return on investment.
“Our philosophy is very simple: Reduce the load as much as possible while still meeting the merchandising and operational objectives and then only consume enough energy to match that load efficiently as possible- every minute of the day,” explains Vadino.
Vadino discusses the various innovative technologies that are employed throughout the new Vineland ShopRite on a departmental basis below.
The store’s refrigeration systems respond precisely to actual load conditions through the use of variable frequency condenser drives, digital discus compressors and electronic expansion valves. System efficiency’s were further improved by incorporating increased Heatcraft evaporator and condenser surfaces and designing the systems to operate reliably at low-condensing temperatures. Kysor and Southern Case Arts’ display cases are all equipped with energy-efficient ECM fan motors and LED lighting.
By utilizing a distributed design methodology, the HVAC air distribution system required a fraction of the sheet metal normally utilized in a conventional ducted system design while providing a much higher level of redundancy. Very high levels of energy efficiency are obtained by the system’s ability to provide the precise amount of heating, cooling and ventilation to match actual load conditions based on weather, store conditions and occupancy levels.
The sales area is serviced by Aaon package rooftops equipped with digital scroll compressors, modulating gas-fired heating, VFD controlled supply fans and modulating reheat. Smaller office areas are individually zoned with EMI ceiling cassette units that provide individualized comfort for store associates when occupied much more efficiently than traditional VAV units.
“The back office operation is really cool,” Vadino notes. “When an associate first enters an area, the lights turn on and the HVAC assumes the occupied set-point immediately. When the associate leaves, the lights turn off after a few minutes, and then a few minutes after that, the HVAC system returns to the unoccupied set-point. Associates can individualize their room comfort settings since the room sensor allows slight adjustments above and below the occupied set-point.”
The lighting design focuses illumination on product, tasks and vertical surfaces resulting in a vibrant shopping experience and a comfortable workplace. Fixtures were chosen based on their efficacy ratings to maximize light output versus wattage input. The interior lighting design is a mix of both Amerlux LED and Hubbell dimmable linear florescent.
Lighting scenes are adjusted in real time based on actual occupancy levels to minimize energy consumption. The exterior lighting is 100 percent low maintenance LED technology. Hubbell LED parking lot lighting features dimmable drivers which facilitate a significant reduction in energy consumption based on time of day and available light level.
“I wanted to re-invent our whole lighting design methodology, so I literally locked myself in a room for three months to re-learn what I thought I already knew about lighting,” affirms Vadino. “When I was done, the photometrics looked great, but I didn’t sleep very well until the lights were turned on. Once the store was packed out it looked awesome, I took some light level readings and the engineering was right on the money. ”
The power distribution system also features a distributed design methodology based on the use of multiple Eaton IFS structures, or “power walls,” which created multiple distribution points throughout the building which minimized branch circuit runs and electrical installation costs.
“Smart circuit breakers” virtually eliminated the need for all contactors and resulted in further electrical installation cost-savings and load control flexibility.
The Generac distributed generation system, meanwhile, provides a whole store backup solution with a level of redundancy that insures that refrigeration and other critical systems stay up even in the event of a single generator failure so the store can continue to operate.
“We got a great electrical construction number because we were able to package the entire power distribution and control system,” says Vadino. “Everything was plug-and-play.”
Designed by Vadino’s firm, Cold Technology, and constructed by Lynmar Builders at the direction of the Bottino family, Broden Interiors was tapped for the interior design while the architectural and MEP engineering was performed by Ignarri Loomis & BD Engineering.
As he reflects on the fantastic mission accomplished, Vadino says the project was a labor of love for all involved parties. “There was the usual relaxed atmosphere,” both on site and in the job trailer. “We have all worked together for many years. Everyone knows their role and executes at a very high level. Building a new store costs a tremendous amount of money, and the process should be a tremendous amount of fun rather than a tremendous amount of headaches.”