Romania: Penny's new green store

Discount Retail Chain PENNY (owned by REWE Group) opened store in Otopeni has a very special roof: approximately 40% is covered with photovoltaic panels, and the rest is grassy, ​​with acclimatized plants, which do not need irrigation or maintenance. In addition, it has 55 solar tubes, which capture natural light and carry it inside, transforming it into a diffused light, which does not create strong contrast, thus avoiding the risk of damaging the products.


PENNY Otopeni is the first project for Penny to achieve the "Outstanding" level on the latest version of the BREEAM standard for new constructions. And the score obtained, 95.24%, is currently the highest score given for this version of the standard, BREEAM New Construction 2016. After 6 months of activity, the operation of the store was verified and using the newly launched version for existing buildings, BREEAM In-Use V6. A few more adjustments were made, obtaining a new record score in the world, 99.4%. On the market for sustainable buildings, the best known certification systems are BREEAM (UK) and LEED (USA).


The two standards are similar, both implementing sustainable development practices. Of the 194 BREEAM certified projects in Romania, only 7 buildings received the "Outstanding" level, the highest level of certification. Adrian Pop, ADP green building architect, who coordinated the entire consulting and certification project, says that PENNY Otopeni is one of the most environmentally friendly stores in the world, where all the recommendations of the British standard have been experienced.


PENNY Otopeni is a research project. All measures that prove to be beneficial and economically feasible will be taken over in future PENNY stores. There are also natural light sensors on the roof that adjust the intensity of artificial light in the store, so as to maintain a constant level of lighting. That is, when the supply of natural light becomes cloudy and decreases, the intensity of artificial light increases, and vice versa, thus ensuring visual comfort for the store's customers and reducing electricity consumption.


Closed refrigerated cabinets were used, for the thermal comfort of the store's customers. The car park is equipped with chargers for electric cars and, next to the entrance, bicycle racks. Under the parking lot is a large rainwater retention basin, which is reused in toilets and for irrigation. An innovation is represented by the markings for visually impaired people, who lead visitors from the entrance to the site to the store.


Along with the PENNY Store in Otopeni, another 80 green projects in Romania are signed by ADP green building. But beyond creating a healthy living environment and a low impact on the environment, the key advantage of an "Outstanding" certified building is that it can achieve reductions of up to 40% in energy and resource consumption. Through such investments, buildings become healthier, with less energy consumption, more environmentally friendly and more resilient to climate change or other unforeseen situations such as a health crisis.


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