Vaulted Ceiling Builds Store’s Brand

Oct. 8, 2010
Exposed beams in the atrium use recycled steel.

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One of the nation's largest food retailers and distributors, Giant Eagle operates many stores, but its Market District brand store in Robinson, PA, has distinctive features.

The 165,000-square-foot center is larger than most Giant Eagle stores, which typically have 90,000 to 100,000 square feet. The Robinson store also has a 40-foot high atrium capped with a ceiling consisting of 22,000 square feet of 24-gauge galvanized steel.

While eye-catching, the height of the atrium required some special attention to make the store's indoor temperature comfortable for customers. Open-air produce refrigerators that line the store's walls create a potentially uncomfortable cooling effect, according to Brad Morris, Giant Eagle's manager of engineering. As a result, the atrium, which is known as the Great Hall, was in need of significant thermal destratification. The height of the ceiling vault increased the temperature stratification.


Giant Eagle Grocery


Project Team

(partial list)

Architect: Pieper O'Brien Herr Architects
LEED Architect: Evolve environment:architecture
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing: McHenry& Associates
Lighting Designer: Hilbish McGee Lighting Design
Structural Engineers: Taylor Structural Engineering
Construction: Construction Building Systems

Morris says that the initial plan was to install a number of small ceiling fans to throw warm air down to the occupied level. However, concerns about the fans' ability to handle the volume yet avoid uncomfortable drafts led to the use of just two, large-diameter, low-speed fans. The 12-foot units supplied by Big Ass Fans provide more gradual, gentle air movement.

Sustainable Features
Among the sustainable features supporting the facility's application for LEED Silver certification is the use of recycled steel. The steel was recycled from regional and national mills and used prevalently in the exposed beams that support the atrium structure.

The Market District line of stores woos upscale shoppers with Wi-Fi, Churrasco-style foods, a kosher deli, a smoothie bar and other options not offered at other Giant Eagle locations.


Metal Roof: Atas Manufacturing
Ceiling Fans:
Big Ass Fans

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