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Giant Eagle Supermarkets

Helping a Supermarket Chain Achieve Sustainability

How sustainable can a supermarket chain be? Since 2003, evolveEA has been Giant Eagle Inc.’s green building consultant, offering strategic recommendations to help advance sustainability initiatives that have been able to impact all of their supermarkets. After analyzing the results of these innovations with respect to both people and dollars, Giant Eagle recognizes the value of optimizing sustainable strategies wherever possible. They are committed to pursuing LEED certification for future buildings and are communicating this commitment to shoppers and staff alike through many evolveEA designed education programs.

Now, a number of years and eight LEED certified buildings later, evolveEA is continuing to assist Giant Eagle Inc. expand the chain’s sustainability initiatives.

Sustainable Strategies

Through the introduction of green building, sustainability and LEED certification we have helped Giant Eagle use the design of stores as a laboratory for the exploration of greening strategies. This has helped Giant Eagle transform the design and construction of all stores in the future.

One important strategy evolveEA brought to Giant Eagle is energy and daylight modeling. They are now taking the time early in the design process to examine the interconnected impact of HVAC and other systems in relation to a variety of factors. We have helped Giant Eagle analyze whether to pursue skylights, green roofs, alternative HVAC and refrigeration systems. With energy modeling, they have been able to forecast building performance and cost savings. This data has been a vital tool in assisting Giant Eagle to elevate its design and construction standards and make strategic investments in planning building systems that are both energy and cost efficient. This simulation has allowed Giant Eagle envision alternatives, make strategic investments and leverage this impact across the entire chain.

We have performed prototype evaluations for revised Giant Eagle designs and the GetGo and WetGo chains. evolveEA directed energy modeling analyses have also made a visible difference. By demonstrating that skylights and windows would optimize energy savings when coupled with dimmable lighting linked to photometric sensors, they have mandated skylights in all stores since 2005. Plus, with this improvement came another benefit; a more pleasant shopping environment. Daylight modelings was utilized to determine not only what type of skylights to use, but how to optimize their layouts.

With 220 stores, how to best manage significant operational waste? We assisted Giant Eagle in evaluating their waste management practices chain-wide. We investigated and presented an assessment, and recommended the implementation of new systems. Our evaluation allowed Giant Eagle to consider coordination of its own materials collection.

In large and small ways, from monitoring the green roof on the Shadyside Market District, to creating environmental signage to educate shoppers about the importance of sustainable design and how it affects their shopping (and by extension – living) experience, we made a significant contribution to Giant Eagle Inc.’s optimization of green practices.