H-E-B Store 28
Project type: Commercial
Project size: 93000
Cost/sq ft: $0
Completion date: May 09, 2006

Project Goals

The H-E-B team understood that sustainability goals must be included in the project from the very beginning. H-E-B carefully considered the implications of meeting the Green Building Program requirements before the beginning of schematics. They met with Program staff early in the process, which helped them to clearly understand how the rating process works, determine possible rebates, and identify any points available for Innovative features. Sheila Morales, an Architect and LEED AP on H-E-B's in-house Planning and Design Team, knew that this store would need a committed and organized team to meet the special environmental requirements.

Project Description

H-E-B store #28 is a 93,000 square foot grocery and drug store located in the Escarpment Village shopping center on West Slaughter Lane. The 4-star green building-rated project is the centerpiece of the 60-acre site which also boasts a coffee shop with an 8,000 square foot green roof and a photovoltaic-covered drive-through. This development's emphasis on green building is due to it's location in the environmentally sensitive Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone. Slightly more than 40% of the site was left undeveloped and a "Green Building Agreement" was part of the Restrictive Covenants set out in the land lease contract between the City of Austin and the developer. In addition, HEB executives met with area neighborhood associations and Save Our Springs Alliance representatives to address their concerns about the size and quality of the store. Specifically, HEB chose to comply with the SOS ordinance, which features maximum limits to impervious cover in the critical watershed area, along with stream buffer zone requirements and other pollution prevention provisions.

HEB compared the costs and benefits of obtaining a LEED rating and a Green Building Program rating. Ultimately, HEB decided that the local rating of the Green Building Program would be the most cost effective means of validating their sustainability, and communicating their achievements to the local community. At the time it was awarded, H-E-B's Slaughter Lane store earned the highest rating ever issued by the Green Building Program.

Project Features


  • Environmental Site Assessment performed by developer
  • Limited site disturbance to 40 feet beyond building perimeter
  • Stormwater management plan addressed both rate and quality of stormwater runoff from the site
  • Collected stormwater is filtered and re-introduced to the aquifer
  • About 1/3 of the impervious cover on the H-E-B site is shaded


  • Native and adapted plants combined with high efficiency irrigation controllers reduces outdoor water use by over 60%
  • Low-flow fixtures, including aerated faucets and target spray valves, reduce indoor water use by 36%

Energy & Atmosphere:

  • HEB is 4th largest subscriber of Austin Energy's GreenChoice® program, and the largest retail subscriber
  • Energy modeling shows this building will perform 45% better than if built only to code
  • High efficiency HVAC system
  • Lighting design calculated at 61% better than code
  • Sensors turn off sales area lights as daylighting reaches appropriate levels

Materials & Resources:

  • 58% of the materials used to construct the building were manufactured in Texas, 66% were manufactured within 500 miles of the site
  • 32% (based on cost) of building materials contain recycled content
  • 80% of construction waste (127+ tons) diverted from landfills

Indoor Environmental Quality:

  • No added urea-formaldehyde in composite wood or insulation materials
  • Low-VOC adhesives, sealants, and flooring materials
  • CO2 monitoring inside building
  • Daylighting in store
  • Daylighting and views to outside for all office spaces

Innovations or Other:

  • Installed a 92% reflective single-ply roofing, which exceeded ENERGY STAR roof requirements
  • Waste heat captured from the refrigeration compressor is transferred to heat water, which offset water heating fuel requirements by 65-75% (not included in the energy use reduction credit)
  • No HCFC or CFC's used in the HVAC and refrigeration equipment
  • Sanitation chemicals are automatically measured and dispensed to ensure safety
  • An EMS (Energy Management System) continuously controls and monitors refrigeration, HVAC and lighting systems
  • In-store education program teaches employees and customers about H-E-B's environmental strategies
  • H-E-B donates perishable products to the Capitol Area Food Bank 2-3 times a week

Testing/General Results:

Although the store paid about 18% above typical store premiums for A/E fees, the green building cost premium was less than 1% above what would have typically been paid for a like-size store. These costs were recouped within the first 18 months from rebates, commissioning savings, GreenChoice power saving, and electric use savings.

Austin Energy rebates for the high-efficiency HVAC system, reflective roofing, and efficient lighting totaled over $55,000.

H-E-B used an in-house commissioning program to assure that all building systems were properly designed, installed, and functioning per the design intent. Rather than try to fix problems in the field after installation, the commissioning group was involved in the project from the very beginning. H-E-B estimates that the commissioning process saved the company over $50,000 in labor for repairs, maintenance, and punch-list issues.

According to H-E-B energy bills, the Slaughter Lane store realized a 9% annual electrical savings compared to four similarly-sized stores.

As a result of this project, H-E-B has created a "Mainstream Green" project to re-evaluate the costs of green initiatives by projecting utility savings and assessing the value of green building to the company, the customers, and the environment.

Last Updated: 12/30/14
Project Team

H-E-B Senior Design Architect
Christopher Sutton, Architect
(210) 938-7272

H-E-B Sustainability Design Team Leader
Sheila W. Morales, Architect, LEED AP
(210) 938-8668

Consulting Architect
Selser Schaefer Architects
(888) 587-2282

Consulting Engineers
Clive Samuels and Associates
(210) 785-9500

Green Consultant
The Green Team, Inc.
(918) 295-8326

Small south facing windows provide daylighting in the store.

H-E-B's stormwater retention pond filters runoff before returning it to the water table.

These signs are part of H-E-B's in-store education program.