Heatcraft Products Used In First Green 7-Eleven Store in U.S.

It looks like a typical convenience store, with cartons of milk and ice cream. In fact, it has much of the same refrigeration equipment as most 7-Eleven outlets, but the 3,000-sq.-ft. DeLand, Florida., location was designed to be unique: the first 7-Eleven store built to meet the green standards required for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ (LEED) certification and help protect central Florida’s natural resources.

Built in just 80 days on the site of a former auto mechanic’s shop, the new 7-Eleven was designed to save the company money while it saves energy. Using high-efficiency equipment like Bohn evaporators, the store’s construction demonstrates how an investment in sustainable design can be recovered quickly and then provide savings for years to come.

“We expect to pay back in three years or less any extra money spent to make the building more sustainable,” says Jonathan Pauls, 7-Eleven, Inc. construction manager.

Mechanical engineer Rick Grelle of Linc Services specified several Bohn products from Heatcraft to help create a store that meets the standards for Silver LEED certification, with non-HFC refrigerants and ‘green-certified’ materials. The store uses a Bohn Flex Pack central condensing unit to provide refrigeration for the walk-in cooler, freezers and other medium-temperature refrigeration equipment. Also installed were several Bohn two-fan evaporators with EC motors within the display walk-in cooler and display freezers.

Grelle chose carefully, selecting more advanced equipment to help control construction and operational costs.

“The single-point package refrigeration condensing unit application offered through the use of the Bohn ‘Flex Pack’ eliminated several roof curbs, wiring and piping points of termination,” Grelle says. “7-Eleven also saved added roofing and structural installation costs associated with multiple condensing units for a rooftop application.”

Cutting energy costs, increasing performance

Grelle specified an advanced controls system designed to reduce the amount of energy used while protecting food quality. He also looked for durable components to keep lifecycle costs low.

“The Beacon electronic refrigerant and operations control system allows the refrigeration system to meet the load demand changes with exacting results,” Grelle explains. “The ‘true balanced’ refrigeration system will reduce the store’s energy consumption. It’s also a well-built product that can help reduce repairs and the associated costs.”

Grelle chose the “Hyper Core” condenser coil construction for its greater endurance in Florida's harsh salt-laden atmosphere and for the easy availability of technical updates and replacement parts to help keep the equipment in proper working order.

“The products are well designed and constructed; the components are high quality, and the Heatcraft support staff was available to provide great assistance before and after the project.”

7-Eleven’s Pauls says the green DeLand store was built as a prototype that will be closely monitored for the next two years, and the most successful elements will be used elsewhere.

Grelle says the project implemented several “best practices,”and he offers advice to other engineers and retailers considering sustainable design. “Do not ‘value engineer’ the refrigeration systems. Choose quality products from a supplier whose core business is refrigeration to avoid startup issues, control lifecycle costs and help keep the customer happy.”