Walgreens net zero energy store in Evanston, Illinois
- The store features large windows to allow in natural light, and white paint to let that light diffuse through the building. All of the artificial lighting is provided by LED, meaning the electricity requirement is much lower than it would be with typical fluorescent lights.
- While the sun gives the store nearly all the energy it needs, two 35-foot-tall wind turbines outside offer a little extra energy. Store designers had originally intended to make more use of the wind, but discovered that amount of solar energy they would be able to get exceeded initial expectations. The turbines now supply around 10 percent of the store’s needs.
- Inside, a television serves to display the energy statistics of the building and how they compare to the store’s goal of generating enough electricity to meet all energy needs.
- The store roof is covered in 850 solar panels, which will supply Walgreens with most of the electricity it needs. The officials at Walgreens estimate that between 95 and 100 percent of their energy needs will be met by the solar panels atop the store’s distinctive, multilayered roof, sloped towards the south in order to get more direct sunlight. (Walgreens)
- Even the sign is solar powered. And as an additional eco-friendly measure, landscaping is comprised of species native to the area, meaning these plants require only rainwater without additional watering to flourish.
- Several Walgreens officials and dignitaries, including the mayor of Evanston, Elizabeth Tisdahl, cut a ribbon using novelty-sized scissors.
- The geothermal pipes tap 550 feet into the ground below for a constant temperature source — about 53 degrees Fahrenheit. These pipes can be tapped in the summer for cooling or the winter for heating.
- The geothermal piping, as well as heating and cooling pipes, are displayed in a room overlooking the store. The geothermal pipes are integrated with the heating and cooling systems, which reduce overall power consumption.
- There are two parking spots reserved for electric vehicles. Walgreens was making use of the charging station with its own security car, a Nissan Leaf.
- The beauty section of the store features distinctive, blade-shaped LED light fixtures. The plastic blades contain micro-optics that redirect the light to shine on the shelves rather than the floor.
- The store prominently displays a kiosk for dropping off old batteries of various chemistries — alkaline, nickel-metal hydride, and lithium. It is rare to see anyone willing to recycle alkaline batteries — even Duracell recommends you simply throw them in the trash.