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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Update to our story on The Charlestown Package Store

A couple of months ago, we profiled the construction of a new facility for this store, and talked with the owner and builder about their use of renewable energy and innovative construction techniques projected to substantially reduce operating costs.

Projections are OK--real data is much better.  They recently emailed us an update, and the numbers are great, and should be a model for any small business looking to retro a facility or, as here, build new.

Geothermal Energy Use Analysis
4 Month Analysis - Projected 60% Energy Savings

Last May Charlestown Wine and Spirits opened as a Sensibly Green liquor store.  Designed and built byOyster Works, CWS is designed to save energy, reduce our impact on the environment, and lower operating costs.      (We also wanted it to be beautiful and functional!)
Charlestown Wine
Charlestown Wine & Spirits
Whitehouse Tours Geothermal
Sen. Whitehouse Tours Project

Are we achieving our goals?   After the first four months of operation we analyzed the store's energy use and compared it to a U. S. Government Energy Star benchmark.  Take a look at the numbers.
U. S. Government Energy Star estimates that the average annual electrical usage for a Grocery and Convenience Store is 52.5 kilowatt hours per square foot.  Based on National Grid Bills for the past four months, CWS electrical usage is 19.9 kilowatt hours of electricity per square foot per year.  We use no oil, propane, or natural gas.  52.5 kilowatt hours versus 19.9 kilowatt hours.
CWS uses 62% less energy than the US Energy Star benchmark for comparable stores.

Energy savings are the result of detailed analysis, sensibly green design, energy efficient building systems, and critical attention to detail:  
  • Reduce the demand for energy.  Let's face it, lowering demand is the least expensive way to save.   We lowered demand by building with high R-value EPS wall and roof panels designed to eliminate thermal-bridging.
  • Pay close attention to the heating and cooling distribution systems.   CWS has four micro-climates within the store:  the retail area; the beer cooler; the wine storage room; and the mezzanine.  We looked at what delivery system would be most efficient for each micro-climate. 
  • Size the geothermal closed-loop wells to capture the specific amount of BTUs needed to heat and cool the store.  
  • Use computer controlled high-efficiency lighting to increase efficiency.
Sensibly Green design saves energy, creates jobs and produces a measurable return on investment.    Good for the Environment. Good for Business. Good for Rhode Island.

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