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Spilling the Beans on Sustainability

Farmer Brothers’ energy-saving HQ displays corporate citizenship

If you think your job has become something of a daily grind, get a whiff of this—in January, Farmer Brothers began operations at its new corporate headquarters, coffee roasting facility and distribution center across from Texas Motor Speedway on I-35W in Northlake.

Most coffee lovers have sipped Farmer Brothers without knowing it—the 105-year-old company roasts private label coffee for many national chains. It also supplies regional customers like the Smithsonian, Spirit Cruises and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 538,000 square-foot facility is one of the latest additions to North Texas’ percolating economy served by CoServ. The company plans to add about 100 more jobs to the 200 it’s already brought.

The Farmer Brothers’ building, designed by RGA Architects of Roanoke, is an architectural standout constructed to make the most out of sunlight, and that’s as it should be, said Farmer Brothers Director of Sustainability Molly Laverty.

“We see sustainability as just part of the way we do business. It’s really important to us,” she said.

A solid wall of windows faces south and creates a light, airy feel for the foyer, where employees can gather for formal and informal meetings. A two-story indoor stadium for all-company meetings is constructed from reclaimed wood.

Also included in the foyer is a coffee bar; a coffee laboratory enclosed in windows so that visitors and employees can watch the process of creating new blends; and a cupping room for observing the tastes and aromas of freshly brewed coffee. Certified tasters are known as Q graders, and Molly is one of them.

“We have access to the best coffee,” she said.

The LEED® Silver Certified building uses all LEDs where sunlight can’t reach. All lighting fixtures are on timers and motion detectors to reduce energy use.

In addition to low-flow water fixtures, indigenous plants and water-efficient landscaping surround the reflective paving of the parking lot, while reflective roof materials reduce cooling-load needs.

Farmer Brothers has roasting facilities in Houston, Portland, Ore., and distribution centers in Illinois and New Jersey, as well as sales branches throughout the United States.

“It’s awesome to come into work and have a cup of the best coffee,” Molly said.