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02/19/2021

From the ground up: Energy-efficient Starbucks constructed in record time

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Six days. That’s how long it took to build the new Starbucks in Abbotsford, British Columbia (Canada). 

The store, which has a café and drive-thru, was designed, manufactured and assembled by Vancouver-based green building company Nexii Building Solutions with near-zero construction waste. It is designed to reduce energy needs for heating and cooling compared to standard construction builds.

“All aspects of the Nexii system – from the products we create to the way we assemble our buildings – are designed with sustainability at the core, so that we can create affordable, green buildings,” said Stephen Sidwell, CEO of Nexii.

Nexii’s precision-manufacturing process allowed for the fast assembly. The panels for the roof and walls were designed and manufactured offsite. Through optimized manufacturing and simplified assembly, the building process reduces construction waste relative to typical industry practices.

The Nexii panels are made of a proprietary material that is more thermally efficient and less carbon-intensive than concrete, according to the company. In addition, when assembled, the panels create an airtight building envelope. As a result, the Starbucks building will require less energy to heat and cool compared to standard construction builds, greatly improving energy efficiency over its building lifecycle and lowering operating costs — and significantly lowering the greenhouse gas emissions for ongoing building operation. 

The Abbotsford store, due to open in the spring,  is in line with Starbucks’ global sustainability strategy, which aspires to store more carbon than the company emits; reduce waste sent to landfills; and provide more freshwater than the company uses. The coffee giant has set ambitious sustainability targets to cut its carbon, water and waste footprints in half by 2030.

“Buildings and construction can have a substantial impact on Canada’s environmental goals,” said Catherine Anderson, VP of store development at Starbucks Canada. “Working with like-minded innovators like Nexii, we are excited to lead the industry in modeling the benefits of green construction and share what we learn with others to help action meaningful, global change.”