The next iteration of the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) green building standard, LEED 2012, is under development and will contain some important changes for food retailers regarding their refrigeration systems.
Throughout LEED’s 11-year history, supermarkets have been hard-pressed to receive credits for reducing the refrigerant quantity (charge) and leak rate of their refrigeration systems. However, one of the proposals for LEED 2012 is that stores that achieve a gold-level certification from the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership can earn a point toward LEED certification.
Among the requirements for GreenChill gold certification, a store must achieve a storewide annual HFC refrigerant emissions rate of 15% or less.
Next January, the third public comment period will begin for the 2012 version, which is expected to be adopted in November 2012, said Nick Shaffer, manager of LEED for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington.
Only members of USGBC can comment and vote on the LEED 2012 proposals; food retailer members include Price Chopper , Hannaford Bros. , Safeway , Stop & Shop/Giant , Wal-Mart , Target , Weis Markets  and Whole Foods Market .