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Whole Foods, Starbucks Top Sustainable Retail Design Awards

WholeFoodsWhole Foods Market in Lincoln Park, Chicago, took the top prize for Project of the Year at the second annual A.R.E. Sustainability Awards, focused on sustainable retail design. The two grand prize winners were Whole Foods in the category of Sustainability – Standalone and Starbucks for Sustainability – Tenant Improvement. There were also two outstanding merit winners and three special recognizations.

Whole Foods Market in Lincoln Park, Chicago, won for Project of the Year and a Grand Prize in the category of Sustainability – Standalone for its complete integration of sustainable strategies and green building practices. The store was built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold standards and Energy Star standards for buildings.


The store is packed with sustainable features including ozone-friendly water-cooled refrigeration system, destratification fans, night curtains on refrigerated cases, LED lighting in exterior signage and freezer cases, motion-activated lighting controls in frozen food cases, and a HVAC system that reduces air flow when the space is unoccupied.

The project also features recycling stations, construction waste diversion, daylighting, a green roof, a green screen, water-efficient plumbing, and semi-permeable outdoor pavers.

At least 90 percent of all appliances are Energy Star rated, and half of the store’s energy consumption is offset by wind power purchases.

Low-VOC, recycled and reclaimed materials were used throughout the project as well as other sustainable materials including bio-based composites and rapidly renewable bamboo and cork.


Starbucks Coffee in Disney Village, Chessy, France, won the Grand Prize in the category of Sustainability — Tenant Improvement. This is Starbuck’s first international store to apply for LEED certification. The project registered for Platinum in the pilot LEED for Retail-CI program.

The 3,068-square-foot store features mixed-mode ventilation equipment and national convection that exhausts heat through an existing tower. The store also features regionally purchased renewable poplar materials and salvaged wine barrels and champagne racks.

The two outstanding merit award winners are Eco Shoppe, Great Hills Station, Austin, Texas, and Star Market at Chestnut Hill, Newton, Mass. Three special recognizations were awarded to Yellowstone Gifts, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.; Star Market at Chestnut Hill, Newton, Mass. and Starbucks Coffee: Roy Street Coffee & Tea, Seattle.

Click here for the complete list of winners.

Last year, REI, Founding Farmers and The North Face topped the list.

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