Supermarket chain Wal-Mart Canada has proposed building a 450,000ft sustainable distribution centre in Balzac, Alberta, which is expected to be 60% more energy-efficient than traditional buildings.

The C$115m centre will incorporate many sustainable features.

The company will use hydrogen fuel cellsto power its entire lift truck fleet, and the facility will be lit by LED lighting. It expects to save 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of energy.

Powering the material-handling fleet with hydrogen fuel cells will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 530t, according to the company.

The company will also install 16 solar thermal panels to test solar and wind energy. The solar panels will supply renewable energy to heat water while a 225kW wind turbine will produce energy.

The facility’s refrigeration system will use ammonia, while waste heat from the system will heat the facility during winter.

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By GlobalData

The company will also install high-efficiency doorways between temperature zones, insulated dock plates, upgraded dock seals and a white roof membrane that deflects 85% of sunlight to reduce heat gain and demand on the electrical grid.

Low-flow sinks, toilets and urinals will conserve water while a sedimentation pond will collect storm water and divert it into local water systems.