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Whole Foods MarketĀ® earns prestigious certifications for green building practices at Dedham store

Leading Natural & Organic Grocer Noted for Conscious Building, Operational Initiatives

DEDHAM, Mass. (August 27, 2009) – The newest Whole Foods Market in the North Atlantic Region, located at Legacy Place in Dedham, has been recognized for its environmentally friendly design, construction and operations with the Green Building Initiative’s (GBI) Green Globes® certification and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill certification.

The Green Globes environmental analysis and assessment process is one of the leading green building rating systems in the country.  The Dedham store was evaluated in six categories including energy, water, resources, emissions, indoor environment and environmental management systems and received a 3 of 4 “Green Globes” rating. The EPA’s GreenChill certification program promotes advanced technologies, strategies and practices that reduce refrigerant charges and emissions of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases.

“With the combined power generated from our fuel cell and solar panels, the Dedham store is essentially able to generate almost 100 percent of its power needs onsite with clean energy resources,” said Kathy Loftus, global leader of sustainable engineering, maintenance and energy for Whole Foods Market. “We are very proud to be the first supermarket to use fuel cell technology in the state and excited that our efforts to lead the industry in green building are being recognized through the Green Globes and GreenChill certifications.

By generating most of its power onsite with fuel cell, Whole Foods Market Dedham will prevent the release of more than 764 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually; the equivalent of planting more than 175 acres of trees and removing over 90 cars from the road. The peak power generated from the photovoltaic (PV) solar energy system is enough to meet the store’s entire lighting power needs.

To achieve a Green Globes rating, Whole Foods Market used Green Globes' online and interactive format to monitor the environmentally friendly building upgrades. A GBI-authorized third-party building science expert was engaged to review the building documents, conduct an onsite inspection and assess an official Green Globes rating.

Specific key features that contributed to the awards include: -          Fuel Cell: Using a 400-kilowatt fuel cell from UTC Power, the store is able to generate nearly 90 percent of its power needs and all of its hot water needs onsite.  The ultra-clean fuel cell uses an electrochemical process that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water. In traditional power plants, more than half the energy produced goes up the stack as waste heat; but this system turns potential waste heat into usable energy by capturing the exhaust for cooling and heating. This harnessed exhaust heat will provide heat and hot water year-round and help cool the stores refrigerated cases in the summer months. Because the fuel cell operates without combustion, it is virtually pollution-free.

-          Solar Power: The Dedham store houses an 80-kilowatt rooftop solar installation that’s made up of 460 panels, which is owned and operated by SunEdison. The system is projected to produce approximately 100,000 kilowatt-hours during the first year of operation.

-          Secondary Refrigeration: By utilizing secondary fluids in the store’s refrigeration system, the amount of potential ozone-depleting gases is minimized. The refrigeration system’s rejected heat is reclaimed and used to heat water, reducing consumption of natural gas and reducing the total charge of refrigerants by 75 percent.

-          Waste Reduction: Whole Foods Market recycles, composts and reuses 80 percent of its waste and offers customers in-store recycling for many common household items such as batteries, cell phones, printer cartridges and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Additional design and construction elements that helped earn a “3” Green Globe rating include: -          75 percent of construction waste diverted from landfills -          25 percent reduction in interior lighting power density with automated lighting controls -          Day-lighting control at skylights and motion-sensitive lighting sensors -          Zero VOC emissions paint -          Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood and offering 100 percent recycled paper bags “At Whole Foods Market we are always looking for innovative ways to improve our green operations and to explore the newest renewable energy technologies and recycling initiatives,” said Lee Kane, ecoczar for Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic Region.  “Our green mission is something that we are committed to on a global level as well as the store level through ‘green teams’ that are led by Team Members who are passionate about the environment.”

For more information on the Green Building Initiative and the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill certification program, please visit the organizations’ websites at www.TheGBI.org and http://www.epa.gov/greenchill/certcenter.html.