Wal-Mart's Latest Green Store
LAS VEGAS -- Wal-Mart unveiled a new store prototype Tuesday that will use nearly half as much energy as a conventional Supercenter.
The world's largest retailer's HE.5 prototype is the first to be designed around the store's location and climate. It will use 45 percent less energy compared to earlier prototypes that achieved about 25 percent energy savings.
Wal-Mart is not only the world's largest retailer, it also is the globe's largest private electricity user, the Greenbiz.com reported. The company has a goal of designing and opening a viable store prototype that uses as much as 30 percent less energy by 2009.
The western climate-specific prototype was designed for the arid weather typical of westerns states where water evaporates faster than in other parts of the country.
It will feature roof-mounted cooling towers that pump cold water underneath the retail floor to cool the store while radiant cooling flooring help to create comfortable indoor temperatures using less energy.
Skylights will provide most of the interior lighting during the day, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, and will be supplemented by fluorescents lights. LEDs with sensors will light refrigerated food displays, and will be installed in the parking lot by the end of 2008.
The store will monitor energy usage and technologies remotely from its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., and share the data with the Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Lab in Denver and the University of California at Davis.
"Wal-Mart is piloting new technologies, driving innovation and leveraging advances in building design to better align our stores with the communities we serve," Charles Zimmerman, Wal-Mart vice president of prototype and new format development, said in a statement. "We are committed to openly sharing our learnings with the retail industry and the world because being more energy efficient is something everyone can benefit from."
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