Smuttynose is Officially LEED Certified

AfterSunny Brewery a decade of planning and thorough documentation, Smuttynose Brewing Company is now officially LEED certified!

Craft brewers have always taken the road less travelled. That iconoclastic spirit has traditionally been manifest in creating, resurrecting, or interpreting a wide range of beer styles and choosing distinctive, engaging brands for our beers and businesses. Smuttynose Brewing Company has been certified LEED Gold for extending that enterprising spirit into the design, construction, and functionality of its Hampton headquarters. The brewery’s headquarters is just the second brewery in the United States and the third industrial facility in New Hampshire to attain this certification.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a worldwide green building standard and accreditation program administered by the United States Green Building Council that creates benchmarks and criteria for environmentally responsible construction and operation of buildings. The decision to pursue LEED certification is one of the first decisions made and cannot be taken lightly as it guides every part of the design and construction process.

“With climate change increasingly threatening the agricultural regions where malt and hops are grown, I knew it was important to make as many environmentally-considerate choices in building our new home in Hampton,” said Joanne Francis, Smuttynose’s Creative Director and Co-owner, “the decision to pursue LEED made the process more involved and more difficult in some places, but it put us in a much better position for longer term operations. One place we can’t and won’t cut corners is in our process and ingredients.”

Many people played roles in Smuttynose’s LEED process, but none more significant than McHenry Architecture, the lead architect on the Hampton project. “LEED certification is an integrative process and our role was to conduct the symphony of designers and contractors,” said Jeremiah Johnson, Senior Associate at McHenry, “the evaluation process is comprehensive and examines a tremendous amount of factors from site selection and development, quality of construction, evaluations of construction supply chain and practices to less obvious aspects like the health and comfort of the building’s occupants.”  The project review documentation consisted of over 2000 pages of quantitative data, certifications, schematics and other supporting documents. The archive was so extensive that the review took 12 months.

Now Smuttynose can return full focus to what it does best- brewing and selling beer. One part of this involved the continual optimization of the facility’s brewing and operations systems. “Our demand-reduction efforts began very strongly out of the gate,” said Clark James, Smuttynose’s Facilities Manager, “but sustainability is a never ending journey and our boots are laced up for the trip.”

Project Highlights:

  • The biggest single contributor to LEED points, can’t even be seen. A tight building envelope and strategic over-insulation in building panels helps keep consistent internal temperature, reducing environmental heating and cooling needs
  • Trees cut down from the site during construction were milled and turned into table for Hayseed, our on site restaurant.
  • Facing the production brewery to the west allows for capture of maximum sunlight while also increasing quality of the working environment. This results in lower need for artificial light.
  • Installation of a multi-zone, short-cycle on-demand LED lighting system reduces electrical draw for interior illumination
  • Preservation of three old buildings from Towle Farm’s homestead days- The barn is still a barn, the Victorian farmhouse was moved 85 yards onto a new foundation and is now Hayseed Restaurant, while a carriage house has been carefully deconstructed and stored for future use.
  • 21.5% of construction materials were sourced from a 500 mile radius- including wooden timbers, concrete, and granite rocks
  • 89.3% of construction waste was diverted from landfills
  • 62% of LEED site is protected or restored with native and adaptive vegetation
  • 30.4% water use reduction
  • Rain gardens and bio-retention areas control stormwater run-off
  • 74% of all the wood used is sourced from sustainable forests.


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