Green is good — at least that's what Hannaford Bros. brass thought when they announced last month plans to build a revolutionary, totally green supermarket. The Scarborough, Maine-based chain said its LEED Platinum-certified store would be an all-time first, and a model for the rest of the industry.
But not everyone is impressed. The land on which the 49,000-square-foot store is to be built once held a school, and members of the nearby East Side Neighborhood Network say the site should be used as an educational facility, in accordance with the trust designating the site for educational purposes. Residents are also concerned about additional traffic and delivery trucks the store will draw to the area.
Hannaford Bros. officials point out that plans for the green store include initiatives that high school science teachers can only dream about, such as solar photovoltaic panels capable of converting sunlight directly into electricity; a geothermal heating and cooling system; a high-efficiency refrigeration system; and an advanced recycling program. Plants that help control stormwater runoff and cut down on heating costs will be part of the rooftop.
In fact, Hannaford's goal is to make the building at least 40% more energy efficient than traditional supermarkets. Company President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald Hodge said the store's use as a research lab will allow management to test and evaluate the new technologies before implementing them in other Hannaford stores. Students will also be able to get a peek at the future of energy efficiency.
Such ideas can go a long way toward alleviating local concerns, say industry observers.
“A lot of companies [obtaining LEED certification] have different interactive pieces to educate the consumer. I can't imagine why they wouldn't consider extending that to this building,” said Ken Golovko, client operations director for WD Partners, a Columbus, Ohio, building design firm that has worked with Safeway, Supervalu and Whole Foods Market on sustainability projects.