By Joel Scanlon
The Lancaster based Texas Distribution Center of Unified Natural Foods has been awarded the LEED Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Unified natural foods have been strongly committed towards building environmental sustainability and their efforts have fetched them three LEED certifications so far.
The distribution center at Lancaster spans 590,000 sq.ft and started functioning in 2010. The center was established with energy and resource conservation as the primary goal. Some of the significant achievements of the center are more than 97% of the equipment at the office are Energy Star rated; around 20% of the building construction material consists of recycled material, 75% of the waste materials out of construction were used for recycling or reused. The energy and power distribution on the building ensures 30% energy savings and 18% power savings. Solar panels have been used for dock levellers and the refrigeration system uses environmental-friendly ammonia gas as coolant. By using flow controllers, motion-activated sensors and rain water recovery systems the water usage has been reduced by 35%.
The location of the facility is such that it supports customers at the Southwest region. The distribution is now routed via the Lancaster facility, which enables reduction of CO2 emissions, greenhouse gases and in helps in improving the overall operational efficiency. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is an internationally recognised building certification system that encourages sustainable building practices.