Testa Warehouse Green Features
Our facility is located in the Back of the Yards Neighborhood in the Chicago Industrial Stockyards Corridor. The land was previously an old Brownfield site, and has been restored into an entirely green, sustainable facility.
There is absolutely NO blacktop on the premises; instead we used 5 acres of white concrete throughout the site.
All cleaning and pest control in the building is done using certified green products. All paints and adhesives used contained low VOC and only low emitting finishing products were used throughout the building to maintain good air quality.
The energy efficient mechanical design of the building results in a 30% reduction in energy consumption. Renewable energy accounts for another 50% energy reduction, which saves us an estimated $185,000 each year!
Decreased energy consumption, along with wind and solar energy savings results in a 57% reduction in energy use, which is apprx. 1,925,844 kWhrs/ year. So what does that mean? It means we are saving enough energy in one year to fulfill the equivalent demand of apprx. 175 typical US homes!
Compressed Natural Gas Delivery Fleet
Testa added 10 new trucks that run on clean-burning, low-cost domestic compressed natural gas (CNG) to our delivery fleet. The new 24-foot refrigerated CNG trucks have replaced existing biodiesel trucks, helping us lower our carbon footprint even more and bringing us closer to our goal of zero dependence on foreign oil within five years.
Manufactured by Cummings (chassis) and Kidron (refrigerator body), our CNG trucks are quieter, have lower emissions, and require less maintenance than diesel/biodiesel trucks with no loss of power or mileage. In addition to being more eco-friendly, the new trucks deliver cost savings: CNG is priced at around $2.60 per gallon compared to biodiesel’s recent $4.30 to $4.89 per gallon including tax.
Adding CNG delivery vehicles is in line with our commitment to raising the bar on sustainability in the foodservice distribution industry and are always looking for innovative, cost-effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Prior to piloting our electric and CNG trucks, we were one of the first to convert our entire delivery fleet to biodiesel and all company cars to hybrids. We’re not done yet!
An essential component of an eco-friendly building is finding a way to be efficient with water usage, and Testa Produce is no exception.
At the entrance to our property, there is a 764,085-gallon water retention pond. This pond collects rainwater and stores it until the water is needed. The pond is connected to the building so that water can be utilized when necessary.
A 140,132-gallon bio swales system borders the building. The bio swales encourage rainwater infiltration into existing soils and filter water into the retention pond, reducing the demand on public sewers.
Permeable pavers lining the walkways and parking lot are designed to drain water runoff into the bio swales system.
Another key segment of our water efficiency system is our 5,000-gallon internally filtered rainwater harvesting cistern. The water runoff from the green roof is filtered into the cistern and from there, all of the water that is stored in the cistern, is filtered and used for non-potable purposes throughout the building.
The harvested rainwater will provide all the water required to flush toilets during the typical year.
Even our landscaping plays a role in our water management. The landscaping surrounding the building features native plant species that are functionally designed to require minimal irrigation.
The combined water saving technologies that have been incorporated into the facility will lead to a reduction of over 40% of the building's water demand!
We have a total of 180 solar panels on site. There are two separate types of panels- Photovoltaic Panels and Solar Hot Water Panels.
The first type is our Photovoltaic Solar Panels. PV solar panels use solar power to generate energy for the building. We have a total of 159 PV panels on site. There are 72 panels located above the doors of the rear docks, in addition to the 108 pole-mounted panels in the parking lot.
The pole-mounted solar panels generate energy for the building as well as contain the capabilities for electric vehicle plug-ins.
The other form of solar power we utilize at Testa is a Solar Hot Water System. We have 21 panels located on our roof that use solar energy to produce 100% of the building's non-potable hot water. This eliminates the need to consume natural gas to heat the water.
Our solar hot water system is the first U.S. Commercial Evacuated Tube Collector System to use pure water as the working fluid.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
At Testa, we recycle all of our paper, plastic, and cardboard to receive a 95% recycling capacity.
31% of the entire facility (excluding all electrical and mechanical features) is made of recycled materials.
Dyson hand dryers are in all of the bathrooms to eliminate paper towel use and waste.
Even during construction, Testa utilized recycled materials. 85% of the building material was recycled construction waste diverted from landfills. Thousands of granite pavers were found on site and reused to line several walkways for the current facility. Also, all concrete that was found on site was reground and used as a base for the concrete in the parking lot.
All furniture from our previous building was brought over and reused in the current facility. Any new furniture that was purchased contains a large amount of recycled-material content.
To reduce the amount of plastic waste that accumulates, Testa made the switch to reusable, vinyl mesh Pallet Wrapz. The mesh material wraps around the pallet and is held in place by a few secure strips of velcro. To learn more about the product, visit the Pallet Wrapz website.