Last Updated: 04/16/2015

Whole Foods Market

New energy-efficient Whole Foods Market store reinforces commitment to environmental stewardship while improving the customer shopping experience.


Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market (WFM) is committed to reducing its environmental impact and supporting the health of its customers and team members, not only through the products it sells, but in how it designs, builds, and operates its stores. The company recently built a new 56,000-square-foot supermarket (Whole Foods Market Third & 3rd) located on just over four acres in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. Whole Foods Market Third & 3rd consists of two levels of retail space, a rooftop greenhouse that will grow and supply produce to the store, a second-floor restaurant space overlooking southwest Brooklyn, and a landscaped public walking path along the Gowanus Canal and the 4th Street Basin. The store participated in a number of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) programs and is pursuing LEED® Platinum certification.


WFM partnered with EME Group, a technical assistance firm under contract to NYSERDA, to identify and evaluate cost-effective energy-efficiency measures under the NYSERDA New Construction Program, to draft a proposal to NYSERDA for participation in the highly competitive Distribution Generation as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Program, and to perform LEED Services. WFM also partnered with SunEdison to participate in the NY-Sun Photovoltaic (PV) Program. Each of the NYSERDA programs helped WFM offset the cost of integrating energy-efficiency measures into the design and construction of the building. Among the energy-efficiency improvements implemented are:

  • Cogeneration via a 157 kW CHP plant
  • HFC/CFC/synthetic-free all-natural CO2 refrigeration system
  • Demand-control ventilation
  • ENERGY STAR® and Design Lights Consortium-approved LED and lighting control technologies
  • Daylight harvesting
  • A 324 kWp PV array system covering much of the parking lot
  • Off-the-grid self-generating LED parking lot lighting
  • Self-generating car charging stations via wind and solar power

"In partnering with NYSERDA and following our core value of practicing environmental stewardship, we have designed one of America’s most sustainably built retail establishments. The new store is approximately 60% more energy efficient than your average grocery store."

-Tristam Coffin, LEED, AP, Green Mission Team, Whole Foods Market

Incentives and Energy Savings

The project was awarded a total of $720,389 by NYSERDA for the planning and implementation of many of these features and systems. The combination of these programs and other energy efficiency measures is estimated to result in:

  • An annual electric savings of 2,513,868 kWh
  • A peak demand savings of 324.3 kW
  • An annual energy cost savings of $369,317
  • A simple payback (after incentives) of 6.3 years for the project
  • The expected whole building design energy savings is greater than 60% above the ASHRAE 90.1-2007, Appendix G baseline building
  • Find out more about the New Construction Program