Monday, April 7, 2008

Journal #18: Wal-Mart's Energy Efficient Stores

I think I remember saying somewhere in some blog entry where I had never seen any efforts at any of the construction sites I have worked at to promote green buildings and green practices. This is because they were mostly mall and housing type sites. Maybe this was due to my assumptions or some sort of construction site prejudice, but I don't think any of the sites really did have any aspirations for that.

However, when I was at a Lowe's construction site, there was a Wal-Mart being finished next door. It seemed like mostly detail and interior work, so I couldn't see much, but I wouldn't have expected their environmental building practices to be any different than a place like Lowe's (which seemed non-existent).

Well, I came across a blog post that mentioned Wal-Mart introducing a second generation of energy efficient stores. So I checked out the Wal-Mart press release on the first generation of these stores introduced, the first one being a "superstore" in Kansas City. It sounds like, along with some choice materials such as LEDs, the main focus was on heating and air-conditioning (HVAC), and the refrigeration system.

I didn't read anything about LEED certification or any goals to obtain it, but I'm sure had Wal-Mart achieved LEED status in buildings it probably would have received more press... which is too bad, because it sounds like Wal-Mart is doing very good things for a large corporation that expands their store numbers constantly. Hopefully there could be some sort of way for LEED to certify large chains of buildings like this, or recognize them in someway.

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