Greenblock LEEDing the Way for 7-Eleven

Greenblock Worldwide Corporation ( announced today that its Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) wall system was selected by 7-Eleven, Inc. for the exterior walls of their first “green” convenience store, as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Paperwork has been submitted to the USGBC to request LEED certification for the new store located in DeLand, Florida just north of Orlando.

The 3000+ square-foot store, featuring Greenblock’s 6-inch core ICF, is a new design and construction concept for 7-Eleven and will serve as a prototype facility to determine if other stores will be built to similar green standards.

“I see two kinds of ‘green’ in this store”, says 7-Eleven project manager Jonathon Pauls.  “The first is the green of the store’s design itself, and the second green is the savings in energy the new environmentally friendly design brings to the store’s bottom line.”

Pauls, a LEED-accredited professional, took the lead for 7-Eleven’s green-building program in Florida. With early involvement from Greenblock southeastern regional manager John Riddle, also a LEED-accredited professional, the design transition from commonly used CMU to high-performance Greenblock ICF walls, was easily achieved.

“After some preliminary discussions with Jonathon at US Green Building Council meetings, we began refining concepts and eventually settled on moving forward with a Greenblock wall system for the store,” said Riddle. “A high-performance building envelope made sense for what 7-Eleven was trying to accomplish with this new prototype. It eventually became a key design strategy for the project.”

“An additional consideration during the design process was the fact that Greenblock could provide 7-Eleven with a turnkey building envelope solution by brining in our sister company, Insulated Concrete Walls Inc (ICW), to perform the ICF installation,” continued Riddle.
Designed by Burke Hogue Mills and TLC Engineering for Architecture of Orlando, the store’s architectural features that are evident to customers include a 24-foot facade, arched entryway, standing-seam roof, trellised outdoor eating area, interior skylights and Florida ambiance. With its brick and sand-colored stucco exterior with brown and green accents, the store looks earth-friendly; however, many features not immediately evident to a customer are what differentiate this store environmentally and will enhance the indoor environmental qualities.

“The Greenblock ICF walls are just that – they appear as typical construction from the outside. However, beneath the surface is a strong, energy efficient wall system that out-performs the typical CMU walls commonly seen in this region,” added Riddle.

Greenblock ICFs are assembled to form the exterior walls of the structure and then filled with steel reinforcing bars and concrete. The EPS foam forms stay in place to provide exceptional insulating qualities including a consistent R-24 over the life of the product.  When combined with the thermal mass effects of concrete and the lack of air infiltration through an ICF wall, a much higher “performance R-Value” is realized which reduces heating and cooling bills by as much as 50-70 percent.

Additionally, some of the measures taken to reduce energy costs serve another important purpose—hurricane protection. The Greenblock 6-inch-thick concrete core walls not only insulate the store’s interior from temperature extremes, they also can withstand 120+MPH winds, a requirement for buildings in hurricane-prone areas.
“7-Eleven has outlined an aggressive expansion plan for the Orlando area over the next three years,” said Jeff Alexander, president of Greenblock. “We’re hopeful that as the energy modeling for this project is confirmed over the next several months, they’ll once again choose our ICF walls for their new stores.”

A note about the USGBC ( LEED certification for this project: To earn the third-party LEED certification, new structures must gain credits to satisfy specific green building criteria in the areas of sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental design and design innovation. This store incorporates a number of features and modifications that help qualify it for LEED consideration. Specifically, as it relates to its Greenblock ICF walls, credits were applied in the Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality categories.

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