Lumira™ Aerogel Thermal Unit Skylights – The First LEED® Platinum Supermarket in the U.S.

The First LEED® Platinum Supermarket in the U.S.

Location: Augusta, Maine
Lead Architect: Rick Ames, AIA
Lead Consultant: Gunnar Hubbard, AIA
Daylighting Consultant: Dane Sanders, EIT


To supply sufficient diffused natural light to key sections of a 50,000 square foot supermarket while significantly reducing energy costs.


Wasco Skylights’ Lumira™ Aerogel* Thermal Units – the highest performing daylighting product available on the market today.

From the start, architect Rick Ames of Boston-based Next Phase Studios envisioned the newly opened Augusta Hannaford store, the first LEED® Platinum supermarket in the U.S., as a day lit/low energy building. In order to realize his design, Ames and daylighting consultant Dane Sanders of Clanton & Associates, Inc. in Boulder, employed a number of techniques. A key strategy was the use of (54) 4’x4’ Wasco Lumira™ Aerogel Thermal Units for both general and task lighting and to achieve optimal daylighting conditions in critical areas of the store.

Lumira™ Aerogel Thermal Units are double-paned polycarbonate glazed skylights insulated with a layer of translucent Lumira™ Aerogel, a nanomaterial that is the best insulating solid on the planet and the lightest. Lumira™ Aerogel-enhanced skylights provide a high insulating value and an excellent Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. Up to six times as energy efficient as conventional sklylights, they provide an abundance of glare-free, full spectrum, diffused light which studies show have a positive effect on worker productivity and can boost sales by as much as 40%.

Lumira™ Aerogel Thermal Units are UV stable, reduce sound transmissions by 25–70%; increase acoustic performance and are completely water resistant. They also meet the OSHA standard for skylight fall protection. The prestigious design firm, MBDC, has determined that Lumira™ Aerogel is consistent with the MBDC Cradle to Cradle Design philosophy.

Ames and Sanders chose Lumira™ Aerogel skylights to illuminate service and delivery corridors where they report that on most days there is limited need for artificial light. They also placed an array of the skylights down the center of the store to supply sufficient general lighting and installed others to highlight specific displays. Most of the units were used to light the perimeter areas, which Sanders claims are the most profitable, and where Hannaford displays its own brand products, meat and produce. “The light in these perimeter areas must provide good color rendering,” said Sanders. “That’s essential for fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood. The company prides itself on the freshness of these products and so you want to show them – literally – in their best light.” He also noted that the diffuse quality of the light transmitted by the Lumira™ Aerogel skylights protects these products from harsh sunlight that could speed their deterioration.

Ames is expecting this store to utilize significantly less energy than a typical supermarket of comparable size. “We chose the Lumira™ Aerogel Thermal units because we liked the balance of thermal characteristics and light transmittance,” he said. “You get plenty of diffused light with these skylights and they give you an R-value approaching that of an exterior wall. That’s really an unbeatable combination. We’re extremely pleased with the results and we know our client is as well.”

Rick Ames, AIA, LEED AP, Lead Architect

Rick Ames is a principal of Next Phase Studios (NPS), a collaborative architectural design firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. NPS has been recognized with numerous design and performance awards and collectively has worked throughout the world. The firm’s work ranges from complete design services to consulting, design/build, prototyping, workshops, research and grant writing. Rick has an undergraduate degree in Studio Art, and a MArch from MIT. He has been practicing architecture and design/build with Next Phase Studios since graduating in 1990.

Next Phase Studios • 344 Boylston Street • Boston, MA 02116 • (617) 375-9300 •

Gunnar Hubbard, AIA, LEED AP, LEED Consultant

Gunnar is the Principal and Founder of Fore Solutions, a Portland, Maine-based architectural firm specializing in the design of high-performance green buildings. Gunnar holds a MA of Architecture from the University of Oregon and a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont. He was a LEED faculty for four years and now teaches green building workshops around the world. Recently he has taught green building classes in China, London, and Dubai. Gunnar also is consulting for BuildingGreen, and the USGBC on content for LEEDUser Web-based tool for LEED 2009. He is a founding Board Member of the Maine USGBC Chapter and is on the City of Portland’s Sustainability Task Force.

Fore Solutions • 386 Fore Street, Suite 401 • Portland, Maine 04101 • (207) 347-5066 •

Dane Sanders, EIT, LEED AP, Daylighting Consultant

Dane began work with Clanton & Associates as a lighting designer in 2002. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering, Illumination Emphasis from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His project experience includes exhibits, museums, visitor centers, schools, hospitality, retail, and exterior work. Several of his projects are LEED certified and registered including the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle State Park in Pennsylvania. Dane is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and the US Green Building Council.

Clanton & Associates • 4699 Nautilus Court South #102 • Boulder, Colorado 80301 • (303) 530-7229 •

*Lumira™ Aerogel (formerly Nanogel® aerogel) is a trademark of Cabot Corporation.