project of the year
The result of a collaboration between design
partners, local artists, and fabricators, this
store meets green building goals while creating an instant connection with shoppers
in the urban neighborhood. The company’s
emphasis on local relevance, natural foods,
and responsible commerce is embodied in
the 25,580-square-foot space.
Reducing energy needs are 24 skylights, LED
illumination for signage and frozen cases,
low-e glazing, and a white roof with high
sustained reflectivity. Low-flow faucets
and toilets reduce water consumption. The
elimination of unnecessary finishes cut raw
material impacts, while the ensuing exposed
concrete, exposed duct work, exposed studs,
and an open, unpainted ceiling enhance the
store’s urban vibe.
Renewable materials include linoleum and
vegetable fibers. While it’s biodegradable,
the linoleum on registers, tables, and office
flooring isn’t likely to need end-of-life management anytime soon; it carries a 25- to
40-year lifespan. Organic vegetable fibers
of broomstick material, laser-cut in elevated
stages, create a 3D “Cooking” graphic.
Recycled-content materials include bakery
and deli tile ( 85 percent), structural steel ( 90
percent), and reinforcing steel (100 percent).
Skyy Vodka bottles provide the distinctive
cobalt blue of the recycled-glass customer
Reclamation stories abound throughout the
space, some contributing to the store’s connection to the city’s heritage:
• In both Specialty Foods and Prepared
Foods, large panel elements comprise
reclaimed signs from street, business,
advertising, and institutions.
• Reclaimed elements and furniture pieces
from the city’s industrial heritage are
repurposed within the café as tables,
chairs, and service elements. Car hoods
given a new life as tabletops reference
“The Motor City.”
• The front entrance is clad in reclaimed thin
brick from Detroit.
• Windows were salvaged from an industrial
• The pizza and rotisserie soffit is clad in
repurposed signs from Detroit.
• Other elements include reclaimed wood
seating booths and reclaimed produce bins.
Signage throughout the store focuses on the
company’s sustainable mission and highlights
green building elements.
SUSTAINABLE PROJECT OF THE YEAR
Whole Foods Market Detroit