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Carnival Super Market Uses Smart Environmental Systems

August 31, 2006

The store's automated system senses the amount of daylight coming through the skylights and adjusts the interior lighting accordingly, and it is expected to save 20% on air conditioning costs.


DALLAS /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Amid its splashy bold graphics, unique layout, and multi-ethnic merchandising, the new flagship Carnival Super Market opening in the southwest Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas also takes an environmentally oriented approach to store construction and operations.

One of the goals was to make the 56,000-square-foot unit as cost-efficient as possible, according to Michael D. Byars, chief executive officer for Carnival Supermarkets of Coppell, TX. "Saving money in energy and other operational costs is plain good business," he said. "Our other priority was to establish a comfortable and safe shopping and dining environment."

To create its distinctive "village square" look with dramatic storefront effects for each food department, the Carnival flagship requires extra lighting not found in other grocery stores. To offset the additional electricity, the store uses daylight harvesting via skylights in the center section, where the nonperishable items are stocked.

It also uses an automated, smart lighting system that senses the amount of daylight coming through the skylights and adjusts the interior lighting accordingly. Wherever possible, the store has fluorescent, long-life light bulbs to reduce wattage as well. Only at night is all of the available lighting in use.

The relentless Texas heat and drought have made staying cool a priority for shoppers. One of the challenges every supermarket faces is keeping the inside comfortable while maintaining a mixture of fresh air and carbon dioxide (CO2) at a ratio prescribed by a national industry standard for public buildings known as ASHRAE Code 62.

To maintain that air-quality standard throughout the interior, the air conditioning system is configured in seven zones served by seven smaller units, instead of a solitary large one for the entire store. Each zone has sensors for CO2 and temperature; when more people are in the store and the CO2 level rises, the system automatically lets in more outside air to compensate. It is powerful enough, however, to keep the store cool even when outside dampers are wide open.

"During the two-decade lifecycle of the building, the system should save 20% of the overall cost of air conditioning," Byars said.

All the refrigeration units on site, major contributors to energy consumption, are located in a secured, ground-based machine house that is easy for mechanics to access for maintenance and repairs. The electrical switchgear is also secured on the ground for the same reasons.

Lacking the weight of air conditioning units, the store roof is lighter than normal and sports a coat of white thermal-barrier paint that reflects sunlight and heat.

Other cost-saving features include the latest in high-efficiency cold cases for fresh produce, meat, dairy, and chilled/frozen foods. All refrigerated system piping has been installed overhead to make it easier for repairs when necessary.

The flagship unit should also save money on utilities by reclaiming the hot gases from the refrigeration system to heat all hot water used in the store.

The store is laid out in such a manner as to save as much as possible on the time and labor required to transfer produce and products from the trucks at the outside bays to the store shelves. There are also overhead racks in the nonperishable section to hold fast-selling items so that shelves can be replenished quickly.

About Carnival Supermarkets
Carnival Supermarkets consists of 24 grocery stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area that serve north Texas's fast-growing Hispanic population. With its flagship store in Oak Cliff, Carnival has launched a unique approach to the grocery marketplace—one that will act as a testing ground for its expanding chain of stores. Carnival is committed to satisfying the needs of customers in the communities the company serves.


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