River Valley Co-op’s Net Zero Grocery Store

Project Highlights

  • Site Planning & Design Services
  • HVAC Systems
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
  • Western Mass AIA 2022 Design Award Winner

HVAC and Grant Funding for Easthampton’s Net-Zero Grocery Store

The River Valley Co-op in Easthampton, MA is one of the first grocery stores in New England to be on track to achieve net-zero-electricity.

River Valley Co-op marked a significant milestone, building their Easthampton facility on the 20,000 SF location. The Co-op is a community-owned food cooperative that specializes in fresh, municipal, and organically grown groceries and overall health.

What is Net-zero?

Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of energy used versus generated on-site. For example, in partnership with Co-op Power, the River Valley Co-op installed a nearly 1 Megawatt solar array that covers the roof of the store and includes a solar canopy covering the majority of the parking lot.

Optimizing Energy Efficiency

The project planning, design, and construction team included Tighe & Bond, Thomas Douglas Architects, Wright Builders, Co-op Power, Solar Design Associates, PV-Squared, Berkshire Design Group, National Co-op Development Co-op, and several local subcontractors and specialists in high-performance buildings.

Working in tandem with the Co-op and the expansive project team, our engineers provided energy modeling services early in the design phases to evaluate various design alternatives including HVAC systems, building envelope, and lighting systems for the River Valley Co-op.  Tighe & Bond provided the basis of design concepts that leveraged high-efficiency dedicated outdoor air systems and air-source heat pump systems to provide the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning for the building.

Enhancements to the HVAC systems also include a variety of indoor air quality features such as improved filtration, increased fresh air, and bi-polar ionization air cleaning technology to address concerns relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tighe & Bond also provided electrical engineering services for the building in support of power systems, lighting, and interface with the extensive solar PV infrastructure on the site.

As a community-owned grocery store, fundraising and financial investment from customers and community members were critical to funding the new Co-op location. Our team used their expertise to work with energy provider Eversource to design a substantial array of electric vehicle charging stations in the Co-op parking lot. Tighe & Bond aided the client with the necessary applications for Eversource’s Make-Ready grant funding and the state’s Smart Program to fund the installation of the charging stations.

Award Winning Design

Western Massachusetts Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized the project team at its 2022 Design Awards. The project took home a Merit Award and the Architect’s Choice Award for its demonstration of energy efficiency and celebration of the Co-op’s commitment to connecting consumers with local and organic products in the Pioneer Valley.

Services Snapshot

Our services for the grocery store included electrical engineering, HVAC system design, and grant funding applications.

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