- THE MAGAZINE
Their 2009 state-of-the-art distribution center in Gardner, Kan. speaks to their advocacy for the outdoors. At a million square feet, approximately 25 acres under one roof (20 football fields), the warehouse is breathtaking. It took 6,000 truckloads of concrete to build and now has 100 dock doors with trailer parking for 300.
The sheer enormity suggests difficulty with sustainability, which the company’s Public Relations manager speaks to when considering LEED certification.
“While we are not pursuing LEED certification, there are some elements of the construction of the building that do qualify for LEED points,” explains Alex Sterns, the company’s Public Relations manager.
What are some of those elements?
• Motion-sensor lights to reduce electrical usage
• Giant fans instead of A/C to reduce electrical usage
• Thermostat controls to limit gas usage for heating
• Consumer and industrial recycling (cans, plastic, corrugate)
• Reflective and 2x insulated roof to maintain internal temp, reducing need for heating/cooling
• Converting dock lights to LED to reduce electrical usage
• Warehouse wall panels have built-in sandwiched insulation
Not everyone fully understands the initiatives put in place.
“Those giant fans are great. In the summer, they pull in the cool night air and we’re able to close the doors during the day so that it remains comfortable. But, with the sunshine, people want to open the huge bay doors and our cool air goes right outside,” says Lori Barrick, Distribution Manager. She chuckles as she adds, “We’re slowly convincing our people to leave the doors closed to keep it cool in here.”