The new Sheetz facility in Pennsylvania features energy-efficient heating, cooling, and more.
CDI Studio One, the architecture division of L.R. Kimball, designed a new 115,000-square-foot operations support center for convenience store giant Sheetz, Inc. in Claysburg, Pennsylvania, with an eye toward sustainability and promoting a healthy, collaborative work environment.
Sheetz is one of the country’s fastest growing family-owned and operated convenience retailers, with more than 550 stores in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. Opened in April 2018, the new facility features water-saving plumbing fixtures, LED lighting with occupancy sensors, high-efficiency condensing boilers, and accommodations for large-scale recycling to minimize wasted energy and resources, while expansive natural light, reclaimed wood walls, and the preservation of the surrounding wetlands create a bright and comfortable space for employees.
“This building is phenomenal; we are so happy to add it to what we can now call a campus,” says CEO Joe Sheetz. “We wanted a building that was modern and has longevity to it, and we wanted something more collaborative and open. The idea of what a workplace should look like has changed. You need a lot of energy and light. That is what members of today’s workforce want and demand.”
A Healthier Workplace
Aiming to provide a holistic workplace experience for the Sheetz community, CDI designed an independent pavilion dining room that extends into the lawn with exposed timber columns and a natural stone, gas-burning fireplace against the wall. The chimney is shared with a wood-burning fireplace on the outside patio for special events. A large, southern-facing glazed porch allows employees to experience nature throughout the workday, too. The campus also includes an adjacent childcare center for the children of Sheetz employees.
“Sheetz is a rapidly growing company that cares about its employees, which is why it is consistently named among the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For,” says Gary Lapera, principal of CDI Studio One. “Connection to nature, abundant sunlight, healthy building materials are key elements, as are flexible workspaces and areas for collaboration. The building is a combination of global best practices in workplace strategies, and most importantly the physical embodiment of the Sheetz DNA—innovative, collegial, and rooted in the community.”
A condensing hydronic boiler is rated at 95% efficiency, compared to standard hydronic boilers, which are non-condensing and typically have an efficiency of 82%. Flue gases are drawn through a secondary heat exchanger that is in contact with the cooler return water, which causes the water vapor in the flue gases to condense. This change of state allows for additional heat to be removed from the flue gases before it exits out the flue.
The Lochinvar Shield high-efficiency sealed-combustion commercial water heaters raise water temperature with minimal energy loss. These were selected for the Sheetz campus because of their ability to sustain 96% thermal efficiency over the lifetime of the equipment. These heaters have no flue tubes inside the tank—instead the water is heated in a separate stainless-steel heat exchanger. By controlling and creating high-water velocity through the heat exchanger, the heat surface areas are kept clean so thermal efficiency remains high for the life of the water heater.
This project also employs continuous insulation—designed to avoid thermal bridging. When metal is used to connect the exterior components of a building directly to the interior framing, this causes a thermal bridge. This thermal path of least resistance allows heat (or cold) to escape, creating a vulnerability for cold spots and allowing moisture problems. Using materials that eliminate the thermal bridge helps to avoid unnecessary heating and cooling costs.
Project: Sheetz Office Complex / Operation Center
Location: Claysburg, Pennsylvania
Design Architect: CDI Studio One
Architect of Record: CDI / L.R. Kimball
Interiors: Daroff Design
Site / Civil Engineering: Keller Engineers
General Contractor: Poole Anderson Construction