Safe Foods Corporation’s global headquarters and innovation center in North Little Rock, Arkansas has been awarded LEED v4 Silver level of certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building program. LEED is a nationally-recognized green building rating system that addresses the site, water, energy, materials, and indoor environmental quality of a facility and its grounds.

Completed in 2019, the Safe Foods project is a complete renovation of a 133,128 square foot building consisting of blending, packaging, and warehousing areas on the first level while the upper levels are reserved for manufacturing, offices, and communal spaces. The facility hosts a staff of around 45 people, including 35 office professionals and 8 to 12 shift workers in the manufacturing facility. In congruence with a commitment to sustainability, existing features such as the main shell of the building, parking areas, and large open space area were utilized to reduce the project’s environmental impact. The company also converted the existing turf area into a native grass meadow.

“Seeing Safe Foods’s commitment to sustainability on this unique combination of manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters was inspiring,” said Katie Breshears, Senior Project Manager for Entegrity, an Arkansas-based sustainability and energy services company who assisted with the LEED certification process.  “The design team helped Safe Foods realize their vision by creating a space that is functional as well as inviting. With the team’s commitment, integrating sustainability into the design was seamless. The result is a workplace that is not only beautiful, but also energy efficient and healthy for the occupants.”

The LEED Silver certification of Safe Foods was based on several building achievements that have a positive impact on the facility and the broader community. A few of the notable sustainable design features for the new Safe Foods headquarters include:

  • The installation of low mercury lighting and high-efficiency HVAC systems, saving almost 30% in energy costs per year over a comparable building of this size and use.
  • The use of low flow fixtures throughout the facility reduces the water used every year by 32%.
  • The utilization of low emitting materials during construction to reduce the amount of harmful chemicals that the construction crew and building occupants encounter.
  • The preservation of 492,000 square feet of open space for occupants to utilize for recreational purposes.
  • The retention of 93% of the existing structure.

“Being awarded LEED Silver certification is a validation of our commitment to sustainability flowing from two of our Core Values: doing the right thing and leading the way,” said Slaton Fry, Chief Operations Officer for Safe Foods Corporation. “This facility is a platform for us to ensure a safer food supply for the world while also investing in the long-term well-being of our employees, community, and environment.” Safe Foods’s headquarters and innovation center was designed by Lewis Elliot McMorran Vaden Ragsdale Woodward, Inc., who also provided mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services. It was contracted by Nabholz and sustainability consulting, energy modeling, and commissioning were provided by Entegrity.

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