BrandsMart USA Grand Opening of LEED Retail Store this Friday Aug 21st – Buford, Georgia

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, an environmentally friendly store is having their Grand Opening in Gwinnett County this Friday, August 21st. I had the pleasure of touring the facility with Larry Levine who is the Vice President of Corporate Operations for BrandsMart. This store is the first Commercial LEED building in North Georgia. Beginning with the construction of the store and continuing through it’s daily operations the main focus has been to reduce negative impact on the environment and promote conservation.

During the construction phase, recycled materials were used as much as possible. The

floor tile, the sheet rock, even the concrete was poured using a minimal amount of raw materials. The store’s roof consists of white neoprene which reflects heat to reduce the amount of time the air conditioning runs. Each AC unit has it’s own compressor that dramatically reduces power needs and the condensation water from the units is recycled. On hot days this can result is as much as 150 gallons of water.

Lighting in the store is optimized by the implementation of large skylights, enabling the fluorescent lighting to be reduced. These skylights open, close and direct light for optimal efficiency. Sensors installed within store lighting automatically turn off the power as the sunlight increases. LED lighting is also used throughout the store. These produce far less heat (almost none), produce superior lighting, and use less electricity to operate. They also use these neat tubes to direct light into the store from the roof called “Sola Tubes”. You could use these same tubes in your home.

Outside the store the parking lot is white instead of black reducing the heat usually generated and allowing better control of the area’s climate. Additionally, less lighting is required at night because of the reflective surface. The plants surrounding the store are drought resistant and labeled so that customers can easily identify them. Once the plants have been established (estimated six months) irrigation will no longer be necessary. Rainwater will be channeled from the slight slope of the parking lot into a retention pond behind the store for future utilization. There is also a preserved wetland behind the store.

You will find trash containers along with recycle containers for employees and customer’s to recycle their sodas, etc!

In the near future, BrandsMart plans to have an educational program directed to children at the fourth grade level with the goal of educating them on sustainability. Great forward thinking!

The construction of this store and it’s operations are a credit to BrandsMart’s and Gwinnett County’s “green” point of view.

What is LEED?

LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Green In Gwinnett Area is a Gwinnett nonprofit located in Suwanee Georgia.

The new BrandsMart Store in Buford, GA is located at:

2918 Buford Dr

Buford, GA 30519-6538

(770) 932-1088

Our Green In Gwinnett Area (GIGA) organization’s mission is to help make Gwinnett County a healthier, more environmentally friendly and socially responsible place to live by becoming a valuable resource for the residents and businesses in our community. This GIGA site is a place to share our passion with others by collecting educational information, and providing a repository for eco-friendly resources and products. Together we can make Gwinnett Greener

James Chronicle

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