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Facing the 'wrong way' a smart choice for Salmon Arm grocery

Image of Askew's Foods, Salmon Arm
The Askew's Uptown grocery store in Salmon Arm was built, by design, so that the back of the store faces the Trans Canada Highway. That means plenty of natural light spillls iinto the south-facing building, which uses 19 per cent less energy than a building without so many energy efficiencies built in. (Photo by Sherry Kaufman, Salmon Arm Observer)

Award-winning Askew's Uptown store designed to use 19 per cent less energy

Askew's Uptown grocery store in Salmon Arm can be a bit puzzling to new shoppers. It seems to be facing the wrong way: not towards the road, like virtually every other store in the world, but towards a lake on the other side.

Surely that's a mistake?

Not at all, says David Askew, a member of the third generation of the Askew family to own and manage Askew's Foods.

"We deliberately sited the building so that the rear faces the Trans-Canada Highway to the south, in order to make the best use of light," he says, "All the natural light we get facing south means we are able to use far less energy on lighting than we would otherwise."

But a south-facing glass wall is only one of many energy-conservation measures that have helped make Askew's newest store an incredible energy saver. The store, which opened in July 2012 and quickly won a regional award for best new retail building, is expected to consume about 19 per less electricity per year than a conventionally built supermarket.

That adds up to about 320,000 kilowatt hours, enough energy to power 29 homes for a whole year.

Askew's goes big on energy efficiency, with help from Power Smart

The store is one of the most advanced retail stores Power Smart managers have ever seen.

"It's got all the energy-saving measures you would expect for a grocery store, such as energy-efficient LED lighting and night curtains for refrigeration cases," says BC Hydro Key Account Manager Derek Curll. "But it also includes features we never thought we'd see in this type of application."

Some features, such as radiant in-slab heating, are usually installed only in high-end residential construction projects. "In-floor heating is very energy-efficient and comfortable, but also expensive," says Curll. "It shows how committed  Askew's is to sustainability and to their customers and the Salmon Arm community."

Helping make such energy-conservation measures possible was BC Hydro's New Construction Program. Askew's went through an extensive energy-modeling study to determine the best measures for the site.

Product incentives allow for advanced energy efficiency

"We would not have gone as far as we did in this store without the incentives offered by BC Hydro to install the energy-saving measures and products identified through the energy modeling," says Askew.

With the BC Hydro incentives, the store's design team was able to include:

  • windows that open for natural ventilation
  • increased wall and roof insulation and high-performance glazing
  • exterior and interior lighting controls to ensure electric lighting is used only when and where needed, and
  • an advanced heat recovery system that uses waste heat from the store's extensive refrigeration system to heat the store in winter and to pre-heat hot water all year round.

"And that's just the beginning," says Power Smart's Curll. "The list goes on and on. David Askew and his design consultants were willing to consider just about anything to reduce energy consumption. They explored all the possibilities and ruled nothing out — if it works to save energy, they wanted to install it."

Learn more online about energy modeling and BC Hydro's New Construction Program. Or call 1 866 522 4713.