Clif Bar Bakery grand opening
Clif Bar & Co.'s new bakery features a biophilic design.

EMERYVILLE, CALIF. — Clif Bar & Co. on Aug. 30 opened its $90 million, 300,000-square-foot bakery in Twin Falls, Idaho. Billed by the company as a “one-of-a-kind, sustainability-focused facility,” the new bakery features a biophilic design, which Clif Bar said is an approach to design that connects people in buildings with nature.

The new bakery’s design elements include more than 200 windows, vaulted skylights, light-directing solatubes, indoor walls of recycled barnwood and natural stone, indoor plants and sliding doors that connect an auditorium to an outdoor events space. A packaging area without exterior windows offers wall-projected images of the natural outdoors that rotate daily.

Outside, Clif Bar built patios for outdoor breaks and planted drought-tolerant, native plants, including more than 570 trees and 5,700 shrubs and grasses. The company said it plans to eventually add a biking/footpath and organic community garden.

Bill Browning, a founding partner of Terrapin Bright Green design consultants
Bill Browning, a founding partner of Terrapin Bright Green design consultants

“This is the first bakery — and manufacturing facility of any kind in the nation that I know of — to incorporate biophilic features from the outset,” said Bill Browning, a founding partner of Terrapin Bright Green design consultants in New York. “We’ve seen biophilia designed into offices, hospitals and schools in the United States, but never as an upfront design strategy in this sector. I hope Clif Bar’s unique bakery signals a new era in design for the well-being of people in all types of built environments.”

This is Clif Bar’s first owned and operated bakery. The facility makes organic-certified Clif Bar energy bars and Clif Kid ZBars, an organic whole grain snack bar for children. It employs 214 people.

Kevin Cleary, c.e.o. of Clif Bar

“It was really important to us that our Twin Falls bakery embodied our company values,” said Kevin Cleary, chief executive officer of Clif Bar. “We wanted it to be a healthy, welcoming place for people to work — a workplace that sustains our people, the community and the planet.”

In addition to biophilic aspects, Clif Bar said it designed the Twin Falls bakery with overall sustainability in mind and is pursuing LEED certification for the building from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.

The bakery’s green building design elements include hybrid cooling towers that contribute to the bakery using about a third less water than most conventional bakeries, the company said. On-demand conveyors, LED lighting, a reflective roof and a water source heat pump help the bakery use about 20% less energy than most conventional bakeries, Clif Bar noted. Efficient refrigeration equipment and processes trim approximately 40% off typical bakery refrigerant emissions.

In addition, 100% of the electricity required to power the bakery is generated from green, renewable energy through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from an Idaho wind farm.