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Best Green Design: Valleyview Super Station

WinVest Land Holdings opened Valleyview Super Station in September 2009. It was heralded as "the first railway station ever built in Valleyview," located in northern Alberta, Canada. With the help and design efforts of architect Bill Rutledge of William C. Rutledge Architects Ltd. of Edmonton, the structure mimics the prairie railway stations of the late 1800s with a high-pitched roof and large overhangs supported by wood wall brackets. The exterior finishes are asphalt shingles, cement board siding and stone as the base, according to managers Blake and Erika Sparks.

The $4.2 million, 8,350-square-foot station includes a 5,810-square-foot convenience store, second-level office space, and a 2,540-square-foot liquor store with its own entrance. Seven single-lane, double-sided pump islands are featured for the fuel system.
WinVest spent $400,000 for an HVAC system that includes a 30-ton geothermal system, as well as for other green construction upgrades that it feels were well worth the investment. The building's interior has vaulted ceilings and large dormer windows to provide natural daylight into the retail areas.

"We also reduced electricity consumption by installing high quality LED lights under our fuel canopy," said Sparks.

Another energy-saving green initiative was the installation of extra tubing in the floor to make the geothermal system more efficient. The refrigeration equipment was tied into the system to recover the heat created by the coolers. In comparison to a smaller 7,500-square-foot sister store in Grande Prairie, the larger Valleyview Super Station's heating bills are 25 percent lower, even though the larger store also has to heat a much higher internal store air space due to its high ceilings.

With the exception of a natural gas-powered boiler used to melt snow on the outside walk, all other energy used is either geothermic or electric. The planting of 40 spruce trees along the back of the property also reduces the store's carbon footprint.

The store design has elicited many positive comments from customers, vendors and shareholders, who are so happy with the final outcome that they started construction last month of a store with the same design in Clairmont, Alberta.
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