When you hear about skylights and daylighting systems, do you think of modern homes and high-tech offices, or big-box retail stores and warehouses? While we might associate energy efficiency with offices and residential developments, the businesses that benefit most from daylighting are often big-box retail stores.
From their warehouses and order fulfillment centers to their retail mega-stores, these five big-box retailers are taking daylighting and energy efficiency seriously.
Walmart is leading the way in corporate energy conservation, implementing a wide range of energy-efficient solutions in many of its stores. America’s most well known big-box retailer now uses skylights in all of its new stores in order to reduce energy bills and provide a more comfortable environment for shoppers.
The popular big-box retailer also uses an automatic dimming system to reduce its dependence on artificial lighting during the peak of daytime sunlight, ‘white roof’ materials to reduce cooling load in California stores, and low-mercury fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts for optimum energy-efficient artificial lighting.
2. Best Buy
Electronics retailer Best Buy has taken a proactive approach to daylighting, using skylights and large glass entrances to make its stores more dependent on natural light. The changes implemented by the company have been positive, both for its profit margins and for its customers.
Best Buy’s new stores use skylights manufactured using plastics with 50 percent or more post-consumer recycled content. The company also uses a dimmed artificial lighting system that automatically adjusts to suit the weather, further lowering its dependence on artificial lighting.
American retail giant Target has made a proactive effort to reduce its dependence on artificial lighting. While not all of its 1,797 American locations make full use of energy-efficient daylighting, many stores use skylights and large exterior windows.
As well as using skylights to bring natural light into the shopping area of its many stores, Target uses large windows around its stores’ vestibules in order to provide consumers with a light, comfortable entrance whenever they shop in its outlets.
4. Bed Bath & Beyond
As one of the United States’ leading home furnishings retailers, Bed Bath & Beyond certainly knows how to create a comfortable environment for shoppers. The retail chain uses daylighting in most of its new stores to create a wonderful environment.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s corporate responsibility code lists several examples of energy-efficient thinking. The company has changed its lighting fixtures to High Efficiency Lumen Output, as well as installing automated dimmers in its stores to reduce the amount of artificial light required to maintain a comfortable shopping atmosphere.
When it comes to energy efficiency, Sears has gone above and beyond the typical call of duty. The well-known retail chain uses skylights both in its retail stores and in its large network of warehouses and distribution centers spread across the country.
Using natural light alone, Sears has managed to substantially reduce energy costs in many of its distribution centers. It’s also created a retail environment that makes its customers more comfortable, its employees happier, and its sales figures greater.