Sears Distribution Center Case Study

Award winning architectural firm - Ware Malcomb - works with ProLogis and Sears to build one of the nation's most energy efficient Distribution Center...and it's LEED Silver Certified!

Sears Build LEED Silver Distribution Center With Integrated Daylighting System

Sears wanted a state-of-the-art distribution center which would lower employee turnover, increase productivity and provide energy savings. Enlisting the help of ProLogis and Ware Malcomb, Sears set the requirements for a daylight and lighting system which could maintain 30 fc day and night. 

Meeting California's Title 24 Energy Code is a tough ask but Exposure Illumination Architects were brought on board to design the lighting system to beat the code requirements.

Stockton, CA
Ware Malcomb
Roof, Skylights
Quasar Prismatic Acrylic Aluminum Skylights
Sears has been a US mainstay for decades and has, over that time, amassed 3,900+ stores throughout the United States and Canada. In order to keep current and efficient, a year long study was conducted looking at the efficiencies of their distribution centers. As such, in 2007, a 780,400 sq. ft. LEED Certified facility was requested to ProLogis, a leading global provider of distribution facilities.

We want to provide the Sears direct delivery distribution network with major operating cost savings, substantially increase productivity levels, and move our market-leading merchandise close to its customers. - Brian Willemot | Project Manager, Logistics Engineering for Sears

A tailored layout of nearly 450 skylights was needed as well as an integrated lighting system in order to meet a minimum maintained lighting requirement of 30 fc all the while meeting California’s Title 24 Energy Code.

With sunlight gone for the day, the occupants still needed to have maintained light levels of 30 fc, so Exposure Illumination Architects, Inc. were hired to design a lighting system which would help the distribution center become one of the most energy-efficient in the country. California’s Title 24 Energy Code allows for a lighting power density of 0.6 W/sq.ft. inside commercial and industrial storage buildings and yet this lighting system works with an effective lighting power density of just 0.18 W/sq.ft.

Daylighting creates employee connection to the outside environment [which, in turn causes] low employee turnover and increased productivity. - Jim Terry | Director, Commercial for Ware Malcomb

Exposure Illumination Architects favored highbay fluorescent lighting along with Kingspan Light + Air double domed skylights for maximum diffused light during the day and high energy savings during the dark hours. A skylight layout covering just 2% of the roof (which equates to roughly one skylight every 40 feet) is more than enough to meet the target light levels without requiring any electric lighting during the peak hours of operation.

Working in the Sears Stockton Distribution Center during the daytime hours is like working outside. The Light levels throughout the building are 40 fc or higher in the non-daylight hours. - Brian Willemot

Because of this efficient daylight and lighting system, Sears is able to enjoy projected energy savings of 2.75 million kWh/year. This converted to an annual cost savings of about $399,000. Annual energy costs are projected at $0.21/sq.ft and the next highest energy-performing building in all of Sears’ warehouses is $0.34/sq.ft. per year—the worst is $0.58/sq.ft. per year, so the return on investment for installing an effective daylight system with lighting controls paid dividends early into the building’s lifespan.

Sears Distribution Center Case Study

Daylighting case study. Energy efficient distribution center pioneered by Sears installs high performance unit skylights.

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