Natural Harvest Food Co-op
Project Type: New Construction
Client: Nathrual Harvest Food Co-op
Natural Harvest, a Virginia, Minnesota based food co-op, has successfully grown from a 600 sq. ft. storefront opened in 1979 to its new 9,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art store located on the north shore of Silver Lake. LHB was hired in 2016 to provide architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical design services for their new store, which includes a large retail floor, a community classroom with a demonstration kitchen, a deli and commercial kitchen with interior and exterior seating and an expanded office and support areas.
The design intent was to create a visually dynamic and contextual building and spaces that took advantage of the views onto Silver Lake and leveraged the mission of the co-op to emphasize a high-performance building including:
Natural light with large windows and daylight control of the efficient LED light fixtures.
Energy efficiency through the use of structurally insulated panels (SIPs) for the exterior walls, high-efficiency equipment and heat reclaim from the refrigeration system to serve the domestic water.
Regionally sourced and durable materials including Wisconsin sourced Ash siding that was thermally modified to improve performance characteristics. Thermal modification is a process that reduces the need for chemical treatments for exterior wood by modifying the physical properties of the wood by “cooking” it with heat and steam. This allows for the use of regional wood species that may otherwise not provide the durability required. Lastly, the temperature of the cooking process can be adjusted to provide the desired color of wood eliminating the need for wood stains.