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Sam’s Club is Rainwater Harvesting

The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas

Sam’s Club members in Fayetteville, Ark. got a sneak peak at the unique features of a first-of-its-kind “green” store yesterday. It is designed to lessen the local environmental impact from recycled building materials and composted waste.

The store is built in the 100-acre Clabber Creek ecosystem, which is home to several endangered species. Placement of the building was planned around the land’s protection, and an additional retention pond in the rear of the property allows natural water filtration systems to cleanse water. Inside, 219 skylights are coupled with a high-efficiency lighting system that adjusts artificial light according to how much natural light comes through the skylights.

“Sam’s Club will be a huge asset to Fayetteville in so many ways,” said Mayor Dan Coody. “The design of this unique club demonstrates the company’s commitment to the environment, and their generosity in supporting local charities, city services and organizations demonstrates their commitment to improving the quality of life for residents throughout the area.”

“We are delighted to be coming to Fayetteville,” said Shane Holtrey, club manager. “This is an exciting time in our club’s history and for our company.” We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year and we appreciate the support of our current members throughout Northwest Arkansas and look forward to assisting them in our new location in Fayetteville.”

The Fayetteville club showcases numerous environmentally sustainable features designed by the Sam’s Club operations team including:

  • Energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) lighting in the freezer cases that generate minimal heat and use 50 percent less electricity than traditional fluorescent fixtures
  • Motion-sensor lighting on freezers and coolers to conserve energy when no one is present
  • More than 200 skylights and an improved daylight harvesting/ skylight system that reduces consumption even more than in previous installations
  • Closed loop CO2 secondary refrigeration system in the freezer cases and a closed loop secondary glycol system in the chilled food/beverage areas that significantly reduce conventional refrigerant charge and greenhouse gas impact and uses fewer materials such as copper piping
  • On-site water treatments such as:
    1. Bio-swale that removes sediment from water before it enters the storm water sewer system,
    2. Storm sewer inlet that allows for debris to fall out before entering the storm water treatment inlet which removes oil and pollutants remaining in the storm water prior to entering the retention pond located in the back of the club.
    3. Above ground two tank system to harvest rainwater from the roof of the building to irrigate landscaping via a drip irrigation system and to provide water needed by the cooling tower serving the refrigeration system, and
    4. On-site car wash that can reclaim approximately 60 percent of the water used. (Car washes actually use less water than washing vehicles at home.)
  • Rainwater harvesting from portion of rooftop to supplement landscape irrigation and club cooling system
  • Recycling services for tires, batteries, cardboard, single-use cameras, food waste, plastic waste and building materials

Although the store is not labeled as a high-efficiency store, energy efficiency is a big component, translating into dollars saved by the company, says Sam’s Club spokeswoman Susan Koehler. The store gained the Sierra Club’s approval. “It’s nice to think they’ve come to an awareness and have a commitment in reducing their carbon print,” says local representative Dot Neely.

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