Founded in 1912, Weis Markets, Inc. has grown from a small neighborhood grocery store to a corporation with over 160 stores in five states with more than 18,000 associates. Along with that growth has come an increased commitment to making stores environmentallyfriendly. New locations are built with sustainable materials and state-of-the-art technologies are employed to reduce energy consumption.
One new location, store #226 in Selinsgrove, PA is a 68,740 square-foot, eco-friendly building that features advanced refrigeration climate control technologies, which reduce the store’s refrigerant usage by 60% compared to conventional stores. The use of several varieties of concrete and the strategies for its application make the project even more significant.
To further reduce energy consumption, Weis needed to look beyond just the refrigeration issues.
After careful analysis, engineers determined one way to control its energy usage was to reduce the amount of lighting used throughout the store. To achieve the savings, the traditional vinyl tile floor used in stores could be replaced with a decorative concrete floor. The reflectivity of the highly-polished decorative concrete would mean fewer lights would need to be installed.
Throughout the project, a total of 973 yards of colored concrete was used for the floor, with a total of approximately 3,000 cubic yards for the entire project. A total of five placements were required to complete the floor work. Those pours alternated between darker and lighter colored concrete. Additionally, gray concrete was used for the stock rooms and office areas.
The impact of the decision to use concrete for the floors was felt on several levels. First, the concrete was sourced from a local ready-mix supplier. Central Builders Supply’s plant is located less than four miles from the job site, meaning that floor tiles did not have to be shipped in from a great distance, reducing both the number of over-the-road shipments of flooring materials and the emissions associated with those trips.
In addition to reducing the lighting costs for the store, the use of concrete floors greatly reduced the amount of maintenance necessary to keep the floor clean. The liability and risk exposure for customer slips and falls was also greatly reduced because concrete floors are considerably more skid-resistant than vinyl flooring.
Concrete’s versatility became so apparent that owners opted to install concrete, in favor of other materials, in additional parts of the project. For example, an exterior dining area that was originally to be constructed with brick, now features decorative stamped concrete.
For Weis Markets the decision to use concrete to make stores more environmentally friendly proved to be a recipe for success.
Concrete, It Just Makes Cents!Download PDF