Even Gas Stations Can Go ‘Green’

Green ConstructionKum & Go Logo

Green construction is one of America’s fastest growing trends. The United States Green Building Council(USGBC) reports that green construction accounts for nearly one-third of all new construction. Over the next five years green construction will grow to more than one-half of all construction. By 2013, green buildings will support nearly 8 million workers across the U.S. Many businesses are trying to capitalize on this trend. Many companies are promoting products and services with an environmentally friendly sales pitch. We do not often think of gas stations and convenience stores as models of sustainability but Iowa based Kum & Go is making a commitment in a big way.

 Kum & Go – The ONLY Convenience Store in America Going ‘Green’

Kum & Go, a privately owned Iowa-base company, is the only convenience store chain in America participating in the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. All new concept stores for Kum & Go are being submitted for LEED Certification. In 2012 Kum & Go is anticipating investing over $2 million in ‘green’ improvements. Look at the features at the Kum & Go in Fairfield, Iowa: House with Grass Covering

Single-Stream Recycling

The store pays for single-stream recycling, keeping valuable resources from ending up in landfills.

LED Lighting

Kum & Go uses highly-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) fixtures inside the coolers, about the gas pumps, around the parking lot, and in interior applications. LEDs use less electricity, give off less heat, and the light is more focused.

Water-Saving Fixtures

Low-flow sink, toilet, and urinal fixtures are used in the store. These fixtures use at least 20% less water then conventional fixtures.

Renewable Fuels

Whenever available, each of Kum & Go’s new stores sells premium, no-lead and ethanol-blended fuels, including E10 and E85. The Kum & Go in Fairfield is one of the few convenience stores offering bio-diesel.

Sustainable Materials

The majority of the construction materials used to build the store were manufactured regionally, containing raw materials sourced from within 500 miles. Over 50% of all wood materials are FSC certified. Additionally, the steel and concrete contain high percentages of recycled content.

Reflective Concrete

The store’s parking lot is treated with a high-reflective white coating that reflects the sun’s heat. This reduces the “heat-island effect” by reducing the parking lot temperatures. Normally, pavement, dark-colored roofs, and similar surfaces absorb more sunlight, trap heat, and increase local temperatures. The reduction of the temperature helps save energy used to cool the building and reduces surface level ozone.

Bike Rack & Changing Rooms

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station behind the Kum & Go, Fairfield, Iowa

The store design provides bicycle racks for associates and customers, as well as locking restroom facilities for changing. Alternative forms of transportation reduce traffic congestion.

High Efficiency Heating and Air Conditioning

The heating and air conditioning systems at this store have a high efficiency rating. The store has an optimized direct digital control (DDC) and a high-level filtration system that maintains excellent indoor air quality for customers and associates. Additionally, most refrigeration equipment used inside the store is Energy Star certified.

Day Lighting (Prismatic Skylights)

Honeycomb-shaped prisms in the roof, called Solatubes, reduce glare and refract daylight into the building. Natural lighting enhances colors and saves electricity.

Reflective Roof

The roof of the store is covered with a white rubber finish that reflects the sun’s heat. Similar to the reflective concrete used on the parking lot, This decreases heat transfer to the store interior, reducing the amount of energy needed to cool the building.

Electric Car Charging Station

Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station is behind the store and looks like an air station. This device supplies electricity for recharging plug-in electric vehicles, including all-electric cars, neighborhood electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

Rain Gardens & Bioswales

Rain Garden at a Kum & Go Gas Station, Fairfield, Iowa

Rain Garden at a Kum & Go Gas Station, Fairfield, Iowa

There are three interconnected bioswales on this site. These bioswales effectively filter and detain all of the rainwater produced by the impermeable surfaces on the site. Specifically, Kum & Go wanted to protect the headwaters of the Indian Creek watershed from hydrocarbon runoff. The bioswales prevent any hydrocarbon runoff while reducing the water velocity that is destructive to local streams.

Scott Timm said, “We are very happy  and fortunate to work with Kum & Go  to protect the headwaters of Indian Creek.” Scott Timm is the Iowa State University Extension program specialist who is helping move Fairfield’s Go Green strategic plan from concept to reality. Scott said the Fairfield, Iowa Kum & Go went well above and beyond what they typically do. “We are very very pleased with the team effort.”

Click here to read more about Fairfield, Iowa’s Go Green Strategic Plan

The new Kum & Go in Fairfield, Iowa is an outstanding example of how green construction not only benefits patrons, business owners, and employee but also benefits an entire community – especially our water quality.


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