Maine Supermarket Gets LEED Platinum


There are roughly 85,000 supermarkets in America.  Generally speaking, they are artificially lit boxes surrounded by dark asphalt and contain row upon row of doorless display refrigerators.  There is, to say the least, room for improvement.  Hannaford, which has about 160 supermarkets in the northeast, decided to try something completely new and on July 25th opened the first LEED Platinum certified supermarket, which is located in Augusta, Maine.  With Maine's governor, John Baldacci, in attendance, the plaque was personally awarded at the opening by Rick Fedrizzi, president of the USGBC. 



The project began two and a half years ago, and Hannaford (owned by the Belgian Delhaize Group) knew that they would have to go outside of their traditional competencies.  Fore Solutions was hired to help facilitate the integrated design process.

Creating strategies to meet sustainable goals offered some surprises.  The use of ice to display fish turned out to be a huge source of energy and water waste.  Fore Solutions principal, Gunnar Hubbard, said, "the ice takes a lot of energy to create, then, after a day of having fish lie on the ice, you have to get rid of it, so you take hot water and melt it away.  There's the energy to create the ice, the water to make the ice and the energy and water for the hot water to get rid of the ice at the end of the day."  Using ice-less display cases takes that out of the equation and the fish still look good enough to eat.

The finished product is a grocery store that will serve as a laboratory for sustainable improvement at other Hannafords — and possibly industry-wide.  It will use 50% less energy than a typical supermarket and 38% less water.  Green features include:

  • 7,000 square foot green roof;
  • Highly reflective asphalt in the parking lot to reduce heat island effect;
  • Low-flow toilets and faucets and waterless urinals;
  • 41 kW solar array (the largest in the state of Maine);
  • Ice-less cases in the seafood department;
  • Geothermal heating and cooling;
  • Over 70% of the wood used is FSC certified;
  • Reclaimed heat from GreenChill refrigeration system provides interior heating;
  • Interior surfaces made from recycled materials;
  • Windows, a clerestory, skylights and solartubes provide natural light;
  • An advanced recycling program for store cardboard, plastics, paper, light bulbs, and batteries, as well as a recycling center for shoppers;
  • Almost all freezers and coolers have doors, which creates a consistent indoor temperature; and
  • When daylighting is at its maximum, most of the electric lighting automatically turns off. 

In addition, 96% of the demolition debris and 99% of the contents of the building (a closed high school) was recycled or reused. 



[+] Interactive Tour of Hannaford LEED Platinum Store.

Photos courtesy of Fore Solutions and Hannaford

  • Anonymous

    This is such a cool project. Cutting energy use by 50% is quite impressive!
    And I noticed the “solar tubes” used in the facility are actually Solatube Daylighting Systems. These catch low-angle daylight so electric lights can stay off from dawn to dusk.
    I would love to see more grocery chains adopt green features like this.

  • Jason

    This is a great site that you have here. We need to save the planet together! I have a blog myself which inspires people. I would like to exchange links with you. Best way to contact me is through email or simply through a comment on my site. Let me know if this is possible. Jason

  • M Realty

    Awesome. I have always wondered why the local supermarkets with huge expansive flat roofs dont take advantage of it somehow. A garden or solar panels would really make the roof space worthwhile.


  • Wade

    What was the construction cost and/or project cost for this facility?

    • TeddyFrank

      I was told that the project cost about 20% more than an average Hannaford of this size. I don’t know how that compares to the cost premium of any kind of flagship store or how that breaks down for payback analysis when considering utility costs vs. cost of money etc.

      The real interesting numbers would be to see how the natural lighting and temperature control translates to buying patterns. I know that in the summer, I only go to the meat aisle if I know exactly what I want, any dilly dallying and I get goosebumps.

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