We were tasked to design-build a 28,000 sqft cold-storage food distribution warehouse in 7 months that would substantially lower operating and maintenance cost. We understood that cold storage facilities are enormous energy consumers that typically used 4-5 times the amount of power compared to other building types of similar sizes. Our goal was to greatly reduce energy consumption by 15-20% without impacting the first cost of construction. Seven months later, we delivered our first-generation concept that surpassed our initial target range with energy reductions well above 20%. This was achieved without exceeding typical construction cost for this building type. We refer to our concept as Arctic Ax. Arctic Ax’s holistic design approach is divided into three areas of focus which include: 1) Passive Systems 2) Active Systems 3) Waste-Energy Recovery & Distribution Systems. The passive systems design specifically targeted the scale, orientation, building(s) envelope and thermal discontinuity. The active systems used water-cooled equipment, variable frequency drive pumps, LED lighting, and geo-thermal technology. For the waste energy recovery and distribution system, we custom designed a prototype latent heat recovery system, under-slab glycol loops coupled to the geo-thermal system. It was shown that the R.O.I. (return on investment) for this project was so significant that the energy savings alone would pay for the initial cost of construction in 20 years or less. All the owner’s needs from the program were satisfied and consisted of a 12,000 sqft -10 Deg Freezer, 1,000 sqft 28 Degree Dry Cooler/Freezer, 2,800 sqft 36 Degree Dry Cooler, 7,700 sqft 40 Degree Cold Dock, 550 sqft 46 Degree Dry Cooler, 550 sqft 55 Degree Dry Cooler, 1,600 sqft office/Admin, 1,800 sqft Mechanical Enclosure, and 38,000 sqft H.D. Concrete Drive, Parking, & Apron. The cold-storage warehouse was to have 23’ eave heights, 8 docks w/ seals, 7 pit levelers, 8 charging stations, 2 evaporative coolers, driver reception, offices, breakroom w/kitchenette, & a meeting room.