A “net zero energy” Walgreens store planned for Chicago Avenue and Keeney Street in Evanston will be the first in the nation, engineers say.
Walgreens will build the store using solar panels, wind turbines and other energy-efficient building materials, with the goal of creating a building that produces equal or greater energy than it uses, according to a press release from the company.
“Green building is important to Evanston as it is good for business, good for the environment, good for our health and essential to our future,” Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said in the release. “We are honored that Walgreens has chosen our community to build the nation’s first net zero energy retail store.”
The Evanston store will replace an existing Walgreens now under demolition, and will include two wind-turbines, more than 800 roof-top solar panels and LED lighting. Builders will obtain geothermal energy by drilling 550 feet below ground, to tap into more constant temperatures that can be used to heat or cool the store during winter and summer.
Walgreens engineers estimate that the store will use 200,000 kilowatt hours per year of electricity and generate 256,000 kilowatt hours per year, according to the release.
“We are investing in developing a net-zero store so we can learn the best way to bring these features to our other stores,” vice president of facilities Thomas Connolly said in the release. “Because we operate 8,000 stores, we believe our pursuit of green technology can have a significant positive impact on the nation’s environment.”
Walgreens hopes the store will be certified as a LEED Platinum building, meaning it would meet the highest levels of energy efficiency under U.S. Green Building Council regulations.