Last fall, US Foods (USF) embraced a new brand identity and tagline (“Keeping Kitchens Cooking”) with innovative new foods, products and an easier service experience for cus­tomers. The company also renewed its commitment to reducing its environ­mental impact.

In addition to three recent rooftop solar projects, USF took a progressive approach to a new multi-temp distribution center in Buda, Texas. Having outgrown its previous site in East Austin, USF selected Buda for a new, expanded facility to serve the region, which could be among the nation’s first refrigerated warehouses to earn LEED certification.

For starters, the building materials for the project had more than 30 percent recycled content, reducing demand for virgin materials. Also, ESI’s construction waste management program diverted from landfills as much as 88 percent (doc­umented) of the 1,425 tons of debris.

ESI designed environmentally friendly features into the building, including:

… natu­ral refrigerants for the refrigeration and HVAC systems with Zero Ozone Depleting Potential and nearly Zero Global-Warming Potential;

… low-flow plumbing fixtures that result in a 40 percent overall reduction in potable water usage;

… a cascade refrigeration system with efficiency upgrades that will yield a 25 percent energy savings compared to base­line ammonia systems;

… combination of fluorescent and LED lighting, light harvesting and an integrated lighting control system that reduces energy usage 42 percent over a baseline warehouse. As part of its strategy to be one of the country’s most innovative food companies and distributors, USF is considering LEED certification for all future greenfield con­struction projects. ESI is proud to be an industry partner.

By Pehr Anthony Peterson
Pehr Anthony Peterson is a project man­ager with ESI. He has 16 years experience with on-site construction management.