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PCC Community Markets Opens the World's First Living Building Challenge Petal-Certified Grocery Store

Allison Friedman MA, United States 0 Ratings 99 Discussions 131 Group posts

Posted by: Allison Friedman // Rate It Green Admin

Congratulations to PCC Community Markets for opening the World's First Living Building Challenge Petal-Certified Grocery store in Ballard, Seattle.  PCC Community Markets (PCC) is the largest community-owned food co-op in the US.  To chaieve the certification, PCC met the requirements for the Materials, Place and Beauty Petals of the Living Future Institute's Living Building Challenge.  To achieve this goal, the store reevaluated every material in the store, to avoid hazardous chemicals and to reduce energy use.  The organization's West Seattle and Bellevue locations were also built to certification and are currently undergoing evaulation.  The co-op wil also develop the upcoming Downtown, Kirkland relocation and Madison Valley stores to meet LBC requirements. PCC is participating in ILFI’s Volume Pilot Program, which increases efficiency when certifying multiple projects by evaluating store design and materials at a portfolio scale.

According to Shawn Hesse of the Living Future Institute, "PCC is setting the standard for grocers around the world — showing the possibilities of building for a better future....We look forward to seeing how PCC continues to drive positive impacts in their community as they pursue the Challenge with their future locations.”

One of the most critical and resource-intensive elements of the Certification was ensuring Ballard PCC eliminated building materials that contain chemicals on the LBC “Red List.” LBC works to eliminate the use of the “worst-in-class” materials and chemicals on their Red List — an extensive list of over 800 toxic substances that have the greatest negative impact to human and ecosystem health. PCC spent thousands of hours over the course of two years reviewing hundreds of building materials and pieces of equipment, down to individual components, to confirm that materials were LBC and Red List compliant for the Ballard store.

One of the most critical and resource-intensive elements of the Certification was ensuring Ballard PCC eliminated building materials that contain chemicals on the LBC “Red List.” LBC works to eliminate the use of the “worst-in-class” materials and chemicals on their Red List — an extensive list of over 800 toxic substances that have the greatest negative impact to human and ecosystem health. PCC spent thousands of hours over the course of two years reviewing hundreds of building materials and pieces of equipment, down to individual components, to confirm that materials were LBC and Red List compliant for the Ballard store.

To meet the rigorous Materials Petal demands, PCC had to find new vendors, in some instances including new suppliers, for Red List-free interior finishes, such as drywall, concrete finishes, and paints. PCC also worked with some existing manufacturers to change their process and deliver custom designs.  

PCC also looked to invest in the local economy and minimize the environmental impacts associated with transportation of goods during construction. More than one-third (33%) of the building materials (by material budget) were sourced within 500 km (311 mi) of the store and 97% of building materials (by material budget) were sourced from within the U.S. Additionally, the project team advocated for the elimination of toxic substances in the marketplace by writing more than 300 letters to manufacturers promoting safe building products.

Under the Place Petal, ILFI’s Habitat Exchange Program works to protect existing, thriving ecosystems from compromise as a result of development. With the build of the new store, the co-op contributed funds to protect, in perpetuity, an area of land equivalent to Ballard PCC’s building footprint of approximately 27,000 square feet. With this support, PCC is helping to protect land half the size of a professional football field.

Meeting the needs of the Beauty Petal ensures that Ballard PCC is more than just a location that co-op members and shoppers can feel good about; it was also designed to elevate their spirits as soon as they enter. PCC partnered with Seattle illustrator and artist, Kyler Martz, to create a stunning entryway installation that showcases art that aims to enrich the lives of those who pass by. Martz’s work pays homage to the nautical roots of the Ballard neighborhood and the Puget Sound, home to the world’s largest species of octopus. 

In addition to meeting the standard for LBC Petal Certification, PCC also made design decisions that were outside of the Petal requirements and beyond what traditional grocers use, including extensive water conservation and sustainable refrigeration improvements. 

 

This installation by Kyer Matz features a 16-foot-tall octopus and an underwater-themed mural — all of which avoid Red List materials. TKyler had to adjust his standard process of using Styrofoam for the initial model and instead worked with wood. He used reclaimed materials wherever possible, including 448 used ramekins from a local restaurant supply store for the octopus’ tentacles.
 

For more information:
https://www.pccmarkets.com/news/2020/pcc-community-markets-recognized-with-worlds-first-living-building-challenge-petal-certified-grocery-store-by-international-living-future-institute/

 

 

 

 

 

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