DELAND, FL — Walls six inches thick, a trellised outdoor dining area, prismatic skylights, high-efficiency lighting and cooling are among the eco-friendly features of the first 7-Eleven to be designed to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards.

The store in Deland, Fla., opened for business last week and holds its grand opening this month. It is the first location among the chain's 8,100 shops in North American to seek green building certification under the USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating and assessment system.

The store sits on the site of a former auto mechanic shop whose grounds were covered by an impermeable asphalt surface. The design team revamped the site to build the new 7-Eleven.

Areas landscaped with low-maintenance, drought tolerant native plants and permeable surfaces now make up more than a third of the property. There's also a light-colored concrete parking area -- to reduce the heat island effect caused by black-topped roofs and lots in metro areas -- with preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.

The store includes a number of familiar green building elements as well as some that are unique to the region. The 6-inch walls made from Greenblock insulated concrete forms decrease the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the building. They also are expected to help the store withstand the 120-mile-an-hour winds that are typical in hurricane country.

The new 7-Eleven also features:

  • Local and regional construction materials, many of which were sourced within 500 miles of the site. They include the Greenblock wall forms.
  • Certified wood. At least half of the wood used was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
  • A high-efficiency HVAC system. Ultra-violet lighting systems for two rooftop systems support energy efficiency while eliminating viruses, bacteria and mold from the airstream.
  • A heat-recovery system.
  • HIgh-efficiency lighting that includes LED signs and fixtures that optimize illumination but minimize energy demand and heat output.
  • High-performance prismatic day-lighting with controls to reduce the amount of artificial light used during the day.
  • Low-flow water fixtures.
  • Paints, sealants, adhesives and other materials that are low in volatile organic compounds.


The store was designed by Burke Hogue Mills and TLC Engineering for Architecture of Orlando. Other project partners were Hudson Civil Engineering Associates of Orlando, Dalco Construction of Clermont, Greenblock Insulated Concrete Forms of Stuart, Linc Services of Sanford for HVAC and refrigeration, Ultra-Violet Devices Inc. of Chuluota, Sunoptics Prismatic Skylights of Sacramento, Calif. and Lighting Control and Design of Glendale, Calif., and Quality Sign Company of Jacksonville.

Image courtesy of 7-Eleven.