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