Littleton Food Co-op

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Clients Location

Littleton, NH


22,237 sf total
8,732 sf new
13,505 sf renovated

Category Sustainability Features
  • •Tight thermal envelope

  • •High efficiency fixtures

  • •EV charging stations

  • •FreeAire refrigeration system

  • •Building re-use

Energy Use Itensity

Baseline: 213 kBtu/ft2/yr
Target: 42.6 kBtu/ft2/yr
Predicted: 115.02 kBtu/ft2/yr

  • AIA VT Excellence in Architecture Design – Merit Award

  • AIA NH Excellence in Architecture Design – Merit Award

Consultants Photographers
  • Gary Hall Photography

Cooperatively Owned Community Food Market

The co-op and its membership were key to the process of developing a vision for this new expansion project.  The co-op wanted to better reflect their values in the new space as well as create more services for the membership.  We worked with the co-op to design a building solution that included a welcoming café and community center, a teaching kitchen, administrative offices, an outdoor pavilion and marketplace, an expansion of the existing receiving and retail spaces, as well as outdoor landscaping and a new plaza.

One of the initial challenges was that the existing building was situated in a suburban area within a large section of parking which did not have a visual or physical connection with the street.  The existing site had little dedicated green space and lacked a connection to the outdoors.  One of the main goals was to give the new co-op an outdoor connection, since healthy living is an essential part of the co-op’s mission.  In addition, the new design needed to be unique so that visitors would know that the building is a local co-op that provides great regional food and products.  

The site design solution created a marketplace with a pavilion and green space, porches with ample display area, a plaza for gathering, an extended outdoor living space embellished with permanent plantings, and outdoor benches for sitting.  A pavilion was added across from the entrance to hold seasonal plants and landscaping items, as well as provide space for a farmer’s market. 

The energy efficiency solutions are numerous throughout the new addition and pavilion.  The building has an excellent thermal envelope with a roof constructed from structural insulated panels that are R60, while the walls and floors are R40 and R20, respectively.  Windows are triple glazed fiberglass to get an optimal R value.  Air sealing was of great importance to maintain a tight thermal envelope and to reduce loads for mechanical systems.  The co-op solved the high energy usage issue of freezer and cooler cases by providing highly efficient fixtures inside.  The store also has a FreeAire refrigeration system for mechanical needs, and the design includes multiple electric vehicle charging stations. 

"Everyone at the Co-op couldn’t be happier with the final result. The expansion blends seamlessly with the older building. The architectural features of the new building and outdoor features create an inviting community space. All of our goals have been realized in this project, which is all you can ask of an architect. Our office space is comfortable and efficient. Our Cafe & Community room continue to get compliments and add to the culture of our Co-op. The building is energy efficient beyond expectations, and our solar installation doubles as an outdoor marketplace. All of this was done well within our budget and on time, both critical to a small business."

– Ed King, General Manager, Littleton Food Coop