ST. PASCAL, Quebec - Canada’s first Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified supermarket is a showcase of green, sustainable HVACR technologies and a preview of energy efficiency that commercial buildings can implement now. St. Pascal’s IGA features solar heating, fabric ductwork, heat recovery, high efficiency compressor rack refrigeration, secondary glycol loop heat reclamation, and a host of other green technologies.

The heating equipment provides 100 percent of the store’s space heating requirement with solar, heat recovery, and fabric duct equipment. All three components were integral in LEED certification. Although this prototype store’s heating equipment cost slightly more than conventional rooftop heating systems, refined systems in subsequent IGA store designs cost less. Adding Canadian government energy incentives allowed the heating system to offer a zero payback. It is completely sustainable and uses no fossil fuels. The St. Pascal IGA is a combination of piecemeal sustainability experiments installed throughout the 1,300-store chain over the last six years that are now culminated into one facility. The chain’s ongoing building and renovation program, which extends to approximately 30 stores annually, presents a good laboratory to test new technologies.

“I believe it’s the social responsibility of all engineers to suggest the implementation of these technologies to their management because we’ve proven these products are available, functional, and cost-effective right now,” said Simon Berube, P.Eng., senior director - engineering, Sobeys-Quebec, Quebec City. “Engineers consider two years or less a good payback on sustainable equipment, but this store was paid back from day one.”

The store space heating consists of a wall-mounted solar thermal system by Enerconcept Technologies, Magog, Quebec; fabric ductwork by Ductsox Corp., Dubuque, Iowa; and heat recovery by a SmartRef Compressor Systems Control (CSC) system, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec. Air conditioning is handled by a conventional high-efficiency DX air handling system by Carrier, Syracuse, N.Y., and uses the same fabric ductwork system.

The solar system is a 6-inch wide, 1,800-square-foot black metal box mounted to the store’s southwest wall. It heats outside air up to as much as 54°F above the outdoor ambient temperature. The solar system draws in outside air through the bottom and the heated air ascends through a patented baffle system before it’s delivered to the air handling system.

The heating and refrigeration systems are just two green factors. The St. Pascal IGA also uses high-efficiency T-5 fluorescent lighting, a parking lot catch-basin system that separates automotive oils from rainwater, and a complete building automation system for all mechanical equipment by Carrier Micro Thermal Technologies, Laval, Quebec.

Publication date:11/03/2008