Striving for LEED Gold

by Shane Whitaker
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Mile Hi Bakery, a Denver-based company that provides buns for McDonald’s and other foodservice customers, is renovating a 129,000-sq-ft former beer distribution warehouse as it prepares to move from its current 40,000-sq-ft facility. Supporting this major renovation project, the company partnered with Sustainnovations, LLC, a Denver-based sustainability consulting firm, as it strives to achieve certification through the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program.

Its LEED consultant identified the required points that the project could earn toward LEED Gold status when submitting its score sheet after construction ends, according to Kristy Taddonio Mullins, Mile Hi Bakery president.

Mile Hi employed a variety of energy-savings strategies, including using variable-speed motors whenever possible.

The new bakery will harvest daylight in production areas by installing 21 prismatic skylights. Further, it used energy-efficient LED and T5 lighting fixtures throughout that are connected to sensors and will step down the fluorescent lighting depending on the natural light from the skylights. 

An oven heat recovery system supplies heated exhaust air to the proofer and fermentation rooms and warms sanitation water.  Mile Hi used thermoplastic polyolefin roofing membrane to increase the facility’s insulation levels. Overall, the bakery will save approximately 15% on energy costs, based upon modeling by Xcel Energy, its local utilities company.

Mile Hi’s tray washer uses only half the water of standard units and relies on cold water for significant process water savings, Ms. Taddonio Mullins added. These represent just a few of the design elements Mile Hi instituted as it pursues LEED Gold certification.
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