Kentucky Eagle Anheuser-Busch's First LEED-Certified Distributorship

Kentucky Eagle, Inc. learned this week that its new distribution facility at 2440 Innovation Drive in Lexington, Ky., is the first Anheuser-Busch beer distribution facility in the U.S. to be awarded LEED certification. LEED, a trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council, is the nation’s preeminent green building certification program. Projects are evaluated for energy use, lighting, water and materials as well as incorporating other sustainable features.

As a result of sustainable design, the 188,024-square-foot project will use 42.3 percent less water and almost 19 percent less energy. The facility was also built using 22.5 percent recycled materials and 35.2 percent regionally manufactured materials. Some 83.7 percent of the construction waste was recycled. Other sustainable elements of the project include landscaping that will not use any treated water, bicycle racks and changing and shower facilities for employees, and 24.7 percent of the project devoted to vegetated open space. A unique recycling feature of the project is that wood from an old tobacco barn on the property was used for the floor of Kentucky Eagle President Ann McBrayer’s office.

McBrayer chose Lexington-based Gray Construction to design and build the facility.

“It was great working with Ann and her team,” said Stephen Gray, Gray’s president and chief operating officer. “Kentucky Eagle’s community values were wonderfully illustrated through their commitment to achieve the LEED-certified facility, doing what they could for the local environment,” he added.

McBrayer said she wasn’t familiar with the LEED program before this project but thought “what a cool thing that would be,” when she learned what it involved. Her advice for others contemplating LEED certification: “Although there is some extra cost up front you get a return on your money quickly. Besides, it’s the right thing to do for the environment and for your business.”

Kentucky Eagle, founded by McBrayer’s father over 60 years ago, employs 165 people and distributes 5.5 million cases of beer and other beverages annually.

Gray, which has customers throughout the United States, has been designing and building to LEED guidelines for several years. Currently about 40 to 50 percent of Gray’s projects meet some level of LEED certification.

Gray has completed over 61 million square feet of distribution space across the U.S. encompassing over 210 facilities. Gray is a nationally ranked engineering and construction firm headquartered in Lexington, Ky. with offices in Alabama, California, Kentucky, Virginia and Tokyo, Japan. Gray provides customers with programming, planning, site selection, engineering, design, construction and equipment installation services. Gray works for customers in the automotive, distribution, food and beverage, chemical, energy, and manufacturing markets.

    March 06, 2010

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.

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