Commissioning agent Cyclone Energy Group used IES software to help Walgreens build the first U.S. net-zero energy retail store.
Walgreens is a corner staple in many cities, with 8,000 retail stores spanning the country. Due to its large presence and interest in the environment, the drugstore chain has realized it can be an example to other retail stores by lowering energy consumption.
The company desires to reduce its energy use by 20 percent in every store by 2020, but that mission alone isn’t enough for Walgreens: it decided to go steps further and build the nation’s first net-zero energy retail store, located outside of Chicago in Evanston, Ill.
IESVE was used as a commissioning tool throughout the design/construction progress to validate and inform the team about the anticipated performance of the building. Not typical to the construction industry, the commissioning team incorporated energy modeling as a tool to validate the design of the project from pre-design through construction and ultimately in operation. The software has allowed Walgreens to see where the team could alter designs to meet net-zero usage.
The store opened in November 2013, earning a Net-Zero Energy Building Certification by U.S. DOE standards, and LEED Platinum, Living Building and Green Chill Platinum certifications. Walgreens estimates the store will use 200,000 kilowatt hours per year of electricity while generating 220,000 kilowatt hours per year.
Those within the green building industry know well that achieving energy efficiency doesn’t end with project completion: instead, it’s an ongoing battle. Using the powerful building operation analytics tool, IES-SCAN, Cyclone Energy Group overseen the start-up of all systems and worked to calibrate systems to match energy model performance characteristics. The store is continually being monitored to ensure it is running at net-zero.
“We use IESVE almost exclusively for energy modelling projects because of the ease of use in creating multi-zone models with complicated geometry and HVAC systems. On Evanston Net-Zero, the software allowed us to study advanced daylighting control strategies, automated shades, complicated HVAC systems and unique control sequences, all within one software package. At CEG, we have modelled over 60 projects using IESVE in the past year, and we’ve found with LEED projects we often get very few, if any, LEED review comments, which saves us valuable time.”
Benjamin Skelton P.E., President and CEO of the Cyclone Energy Group (CEG)