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Fall 2014 Updates

Hiya friends,

It’s been a minute since we updated the LEAF blog, but rest assured the LEAF team has been busy. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to so far this fall.

Grass removal project:

Our LEED Gold campus is 57% more water efficient (compared to the baseline model) thanks in part to the desert landscaping all around the building. However, we do have a patch of grass we call the “backyard”.  The backyard grass is nice for yoga sessions and petting zoos but since we aren’t utilizing all the grass, we just replaced a third of it with more desert landscaping.  Desert landscaping is easier to maintain and helps with water conservation.

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New Trane chiller with VFD and Free Cool:

In order to cool our office space we need big HVAC equipment, such as chillers. This fall we replaced an old chiller with a new Trane 550 ton chiller with a preinstalled variable frequency drive (VFD) and free cool system. The VFD throttles the machine up and down depending on demand instead of running at 100% all of the time. The free cool system should allow us to use outside air in the winter for all of our cooling needs – preventing the need to run HVAC equipment. It’s a big investment that will yield efficiencies and energy savings in the long run.

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Tech Department Coffee Mugs:

Our tech teams were looking for ways to reduce their use of disposable coffee cups so they bought a whole bunch of coffee mugs for their break rooms. The reusable mugs can be washed in our energy and water efficient dishwashers countless times; AKA less paper waste from single use cups. We applaud our tech teams for championing this initiative!

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SXSW Eco Conference:

The LEAF team visited Austin, Texas in October for the SXSW Eco conference. We enjoyed 3 days of awesome speakers, presentations, and networking. We were also proud to sponsor the 2014 SXSW Eco Ping Pong Tournament! There were some ferocious ping pong battles throughout the week, but when the dust settled, an app developer from Sweden, Henrik S., won the tournament and a $250 gift certificate to Zappos.com.

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VERGE Conference:

I’m writing this blog post while in San Francisco at the 2014 VERGE Conference. VERGE, put on by the GreenBiz Group, brings together experts who are integrating sustainability into cities, transportation, and technology. We’re here to pursue growth and learning! (Zappos Core Value #5)

 

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

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Zappos Installs Solar Panels

Here comes the sun! - and Zappos is taking full advantage of the more than 300 sunny days a year in Las Vegas to generate clean electricity using new photovoltaic solar panels. For the first time in company history, Zappos installed 66 280-Watt solar panels creating an 18.48 kW solar array on the roof of our Z-Bistro

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Las Vegas is known as a solar hot spot with excellent solar radiation. The deserts around Las Vegas are home to some of the world’s largest solar arrays including the 64 MW Nevada Solar One power plant and the 390 MW Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Additionally, many Las Vegas residents are adding small solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems to the rooftops of their homes. That rocks!

The 18.48 kW Zappos Bistro solar project might be small in comparison to the ones mentioned above, but it’s our first step towards clean, renewable energy while our sustainability team researches larger solar installations. We certainly are proud parents!

Check out this sweet time-lapse video of the installation filmed by the awesomely talented Zappos A/V team.

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf           

Zappos Garage Lighting Retrofit

Here’s a story to brighten your day! ;) On May 29th, we completed a retrofit of the Zappos South Garage’s lighting by replacing the old, yellow high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures with bright white, energy-efficient induction lighting fixtures. The Zappos garage is quite large and offers parking for more than 600 cars.

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Garage lighting retrofit projects are the ultimate low-hanging fruit in the sustainability world. In addition to providing superior illumination, the Zappos retrofit is projected to reduce the annual energy consumption of the garage by two thirds! That’s 323,000 kWh/year; the equivalent of roughly 25 homes and a reduction of 223 metric tons of CO2e emissions.

Induction lighting is really cool and dates back more than a century to when Nikola Tesla advanced the technology in the 1890s. Induction is unique because the power required to generate light is transferred from outside the lamp envelope to the gas inside via an electric or magnetic field. Benefits of induction include long life spans, low heat output and excellent color. The Zappos induction lamps are even more advanced. The lamps have two brightness levels, dimming controls, daylight sensors and occupancy sensors – reducing the “ON” hours and saving even more energy!

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: @Zappos_leaf