We are proud to announce that the Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, the world’s largest and a Flagship for Starbucks, is now RESET Air Certified for Interiors. RESET Air is an international standard and certification program for healthy buildings, with air quality measured continuously via sensors.
The Roastery is both a factory and store, creating a rich sensorial experience wherein customers can watch and follow the coffee roasting process while sampling a variety of coffee beans and preparation styles from around the world. To aficionados around the world, Starbucks is known for closely controlling the quality of water used within every brew. This is achieved via standardized filtration throughout all its stores, ensuring the flavor of the beans is true and pure. Within the Shanghai Roastery, the same attention was carried over to air quality.
“As fully functioning ‘factories’ the Roasteries present us with new challenges, “ says John Harrison, Sustainability Leader at Starbucks. “With respect to air quality, the roasting process and large volume of visitors (8000 per day) introduced new variables that would need to be managed on a daily basis. PM2.5 and CO2 accumulation posed a risk to the occupant experience.”
“The average Starbucks customer breathes 300 liters of air […] about 1,200 times more than the coffee they consume in the same time.”
As a result, the store was equipped with high-efficiency filters and an additional air handling unit in order to increase the supply of outdoor air while minimizing the intake of outdoor pollutants. Air quality monitors were installed throughout the space according to the RESET Standard in order to track internal performance and the contribution of PM2.5 from coffee roasting.
“The data collected via the sensors was and continues to be invaluable,” says Alessandro Bisagni, CEO of BEE. “Using a combination of the Qlear IEQ platform and the RESET assessment cloud, we were able to ascertain that the contribution of PM2.5 from the roasting process was negligible. By tracking daily patterns we were also able to confirm that the building materials were not off-gassing chemicals into the store, validating the choice of materials during the design process. Most incredible are the low levels of CO2 relative to the thousands of customers that flow through the store on a daily basis.”
“The average Starbucks customer breathes 300 liters of air while being at the Roastery. That’s about 1,200 times more than the coffee they consume in the same time,” says Raefer Wallis, Founder of RESET, “Given the incredibly large volumes of air that we breathe, it is no surprise that small changes in air quality have such dramatic impacts on comfort, health and productivity. In the case of the Roastery, the impact extends to the customer experience and the taste of coffee.”
“Achieving performance wasn’t instantaneous,” adds Chun Hung Ou of Starbucks China, “It took several months of adjustment and we’re still in a process of learning and optimization, not just for air but also energy, water and waste. However, reaching this level of operational performance would be virtually impossible without access to data.”
Another factor leading to the air quality performance of the Roastery is the relationship between landlord and tenant, in this case Taikoo Hui (Swire Properties and HKRI) and Starbucks. Many best-in-class health and sustainability initiatives fail simply because of the traditional divide between landlord and tenant. Here, the installation of an additional air handling unit complete with added filtration and shared maintenance required close collaboration between both parties, making the final results possible.
Worthy of note, the Starbucks Roastery also served as a pilot project for the upcoming v2 of RESET Materials, with the support of Gensler (Design Development) and RHY (Contractor).