Gaines Group Architects
Dairy Queen Harmony Square

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – possibly the greenest DQ in the country

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – possibly the greenest DQ in the country

Harmony Square Dairy Queen

A fast food restaurant is not often thought of as a “green” building. However, when Jane and Michael Blackburn approached their future Harmony Square Dairy Queen that is exactly what they asked for from us. Mike said “this is a locally owned business, we care about our community, and we want to impact the community and the environment in a positive way.” This Harmony Square Dairy Queen, is in its second generation of ownership. The store is run by Jane Blackburn who grew up in the business with her late mother Josephine Musser. Jane’s goals were simple, “make a store that will be energy-efficient and durable – we have lots of loyal clients and we want them to love this new store and for them to know that we love them.” Working with a standard Core 72 Dairy Queen design we had to convert the design package to reflect local code and also boost the efficiency. This is a delicate balance that would have to meet local standards and also be approved at the state and national corporate levels of the chain.

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Jane and Mike have now created a Dairy Queen that is very energy-efficient.

After only one month of data, opening in early January 2016 the loyal customers have shown their appreciation for the efforts. With a 46% increase in business over the same month last year, a larger store footprint, two additional cake freezers, three additional reach in freezers, a chain broiler, site lighting, and additional exterior signage, in other words a lot more energy demand, the store is trending at 50% of the national average for energy usage per square foot for a fast food chain store. The energy-efficient features used at the store are:

  • high performance air tight insulation package to reduce wasted energy and increase occupant comfort
  • Energy-Efficient LED lights
  • Skylight tubes to provide natural daylight deep into the space
  • 5 Kw Solar Photovoltaic Array on the roof
  • On demand water heating
  • Low flow water fixtures
  • High efficiency heating and cooling system

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Using innovative building science systems they have created a store that is very likely the greenest Dairy Queen in the state if not the country.

dairy queen

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Project Update part 5

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Project Update part 5

Read part 1 HERE and 2 HERE and 3 HERE and 4 HERE.

The Harmony Square Dairy Queen in now open. Stop in and check out the space. The store offers a great breakfast – I have tried it and it is worth the trip. Of course, my favorite remains the blizzards made by the sun. To top it off, this may be the greenest Dairy Queen in the country. The space features high performance insulation, tube skylights, solar panels, on-demand water heating, and LED lights. Here is a look back at photos from the final days of construction.

Signs Installed

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Spoons on the doors.

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Interior signage done.

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Furniture put together.

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On-demand water heating system for low energy bills.

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Stormwater management system to filter first flush pollutants.

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Before signage, final clean up.

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Kitchen installation

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Exterior signs at drive-thru.

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Patio looking more like a patio.

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DQ Harmony Square Project

Blizzards made by the Sun – Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Project Update part 4

Blizzards made by the Sun – Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Project Update part 4

Read part 1 HERE and 2 HERE and 3 HERE.

We are getting close to the finish line now with less than two months of work to be done on the Harmony Square Dairy Queen Project in Harrisonburg. Tile is being installed, HVAC is finishing, high performance insulation is done. The store it taking shape and is shaping up to be one of the most energy-efficient Dairy Queen Grill and Chill restaurants in the area if not in the country. The building features spray foam insulation thermal envelope system that will provide a comfortable working and dining experience to occupants. The HVAC system is sealed with mastic and wrapped in thermal protection to get the air distributed to the appropriate locations. There are multiple solatubes bringing daylight throughout the restaurant. However, the most unique feature is the solar array on the roof. If will provide 5kWh of energy to this building – Blizzards made by the Sun anyone?

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Harmony Square Dairy Queen

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Project Update part 3

Harmony Square Dairy Queen – Project Update part 3

Read part 1 HERE and 2 HERE.

Work continues on the new Dairy Queen at Harmony Square shopping center in Harrisonburg. This new DQ building will provide more seating than the store that has been in the shopping center for many years. This locally owned store is in the second generation of ownership in the same family. Their goal for this new store was to create an energy-efficient, healthy, and durable structure. It will feature a high performance insulation package, efficient heating and cooling system, and solar PV panels on the roof. The Red Spoons were also a goal – but then again, who does not love a spoon door handle?

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