Best Buy Commercial Building Partnerships New Construction


Photo of the store interior
Photo of the inside of the store
NREL's Commercial Buildings Group measures plug loads and verifies lighting measurements at the Best Buy Store in Lakewood, CO.
Credit: Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL
Photo of an engineer testing the plug load of a soda refrigerator by the registers
Plug loads at Best Buy include sales floor electronics items and other miscellaneous loads such as checkout lane coolers and cash registers.
Credit: Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL 22075
Photo facing the store entrance from inside
Daylighting is a key strategy to save energy at Best Buy.
Credit: Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL 22076
Photo of the store interior

General Information

Quick Facts


Lakewood, CO

Operating Hours

Monday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Building Type

  • Retail Store
  • Mercantile (Retail Other Than Mall)

Project Information

Project Owner

Best Buy Co., Inc.

Occupant Type

Corporation, for-profit

Best Buy Corporation partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop and implement solutions to achieve 50% energy savings in new construction versus requirements set by ASHRAE/ANSI/IESNA Standard 90.1-20041 as part of DOE’s Commercial Building Partnership (CBP) program. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) provided technical expertise in support of this DOE program

Best Buy's Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) new construction project is a single story medium box store in Lakewood, Colorado. The construction is complete, and the store is now in the monitoring and verification stage of the CBP process.

Best Buy's goal was to measure the performance of its latest “high performance” store design and to explore new energy efficiency measures (EEMs). Best Buy’s energy use is dominated by the electronics products on display.

Location Details


384 South Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, CO

Site context/setting



Typical Number of Permanent Occupants


Owner Occupied


Owner Type

Corporation, for-profit

Details About Occupancy

This is an technology and entertainment medium box retail store, which is open from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Sunday. The average number of employees per Best Buy store is 90.

Building Hours of Operation

Monday - Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Building Details



Total Gross Floor Area 30,500 ft²


Building unit or complex: Described project is a single building
Number of Stories 1
Percent New 100%



March 2011

Architectural Details


The main way in which this Best Buy store expresses energy efficient design is daylighting from rooftop windows integrated with lighting controls.


Design Process

Best Buy is always refining its prototype store design, and those refinements are reflected in the new Lakewood store. Construction is complete, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers are providing technical assistance to improve energy performance, primarily by balancing systems and improving controls.

Design Tools

General Modelling Information

Best Buy's design team of Perkins & Will and Dunham Engineering formulated an extensive list of energy efficiency measures (EEMs) for the new construction case. The Best Buy design team used EnergyPlus 5.0 to model energy use in the new construction project.

  • EnergyPlus
  • Opt-E-Plus

Lessons Learned

Discuss goals that were met and goals that were not achieved, and the reasons for these outcomes

Best Buy is working to integrate energy efficiency improvements more effectively into its prototype development process. The company has learned that lighting is fairly straightforward to analyze, but heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning are more challenging.

Commissioning, calibrating for different times of the year, and integrating daylighting with multiple building control systems (security, building automation, lighting controls) is challenging and is best deployed in a single systems that handles all of the individual systems.

EEMs that often might be rejected because of a longer payback period can be combined with low- or no-cost EEMs to result in an overall package that pays back in an acceptable time range.

Prototype store designs, with a single configuration of packaged RTUs, save large companies time and effort because they simplify the store design process. Performing project-specific equipment sizing calculations, however, avoids oversizing, saving money and improving comfort.


Project Costs

Property Acquisition Costs


Project Costs

Professional Fee: $0 $/ft2 Management Fee: $0 $/ft2 Financing : $0 $/ft2 Site Work: $ $/ft2 Construction: $ $/ft2 Tenant Improvements : $ $/ft2


Estimated payback time of any investment in measures needed to reach zero net energy

Estimated payback time for this project is less than 5 years.

General Energy


Energy Use

Best Buy's design team incorporated a number of energy efficiency measures into the new store, including:

  • Daylighting
  • Efficient lighting
  • Efficient heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning
  • Energy recovery
  • Demand controlled ventilation
  • Reduced plug loads.

Best Buy’s energy use represents measured energy savings of 22% compared to the modeled final design of 25% energy savings. Best Buy's energy use is dominated by the electronics products on display, making the 50% goal currently unattainable.

Use AC systems with a high efficiency rating
Use demand-controlled ventilation
Use heat-recovery ventilation
Use skylights for daylighting
Design for no more than 1.0 watts/square foot
Use modulating photoelectric daylight sensors

Energy Datasets

Dataset NameYearTypePurchased Energy (kBtu/ft²)
Modeled code baseline2011Base case: ASHRAE 90.192.02
Final Design2011Simulation67.92
Energy management partner data2012Actual--end-use metering71.00


Project Team

Danielle Tallman
Best Buy Co., Inc.
Jason Kraus
Best Buy
Best Buy Senior Manager, Development
Adam Hirsch
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
NREL CBP Project Lead & Engineer
Project Lead & Engineer
Jennifer Scheib
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Michael Sheppy
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Douglas Pierce
Perkins & Will Architects
William Livingood
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Greg Barker
Mountain Engineering Partnership
Mark Eastment
Mountain Engineering Partnership
Ed Hancock
Mountain Engineering Partnership
Tim Johnson
CTA Architects Engineers
Energy Modeling
Chuck Reis
CTA Architects Engineers
Energy Modeling
Paul Riemer
Dunham Engineering
Mechanical engineer

Site Information


Building Footprint Area

30,000 ft²