SARI SARI: Redefining Convenience through Modularity towards Net-zero Living

Kim Russel Manjares, Kathleen Balbuena, Jerico Ricasata
Lyceum of the Philippines University cavite

Project idea

Convenience is one of the top considerations for a customer when deciding what and where to buy their goods. People choose to shop at convenience stores for their convenience, proximity, quick purchases, extended hours, and variety of goods that can be purchased in small quantities. According to Vinluan (2024), unlike supermarkets and other large retail shops, convenience stores are more flexible in catering to customer preferences and changing demands. It also has the ability to create economic growth by sourcing local products and suppliers.

Convenience stores in the country are increasing in number, commonly placed within cities (Vinluan, 2024). SARI SARI, a modular type of convenience store built from container vans, is located in Pasay City. Known for its vibrant nightlife and shopping, it is one of Metro Manila's most populous and busiest cities (Pasay : Millennium Hotels and Resorts, n.d.). As stated by Vinluan (2024), most of its customers were busy professionals, students, and residents, That’s why the proposed convenience store was located in a busy area to cater the various community needs.

Project description

SARI SARI, in Tagalog, means different or various, which represents the offered services and variety of goods of the store. Aside from it, the name also suggests the target users of the store, which come from different groups of people such as residents, students, employees, and others. Convenience stores act as hubs for community bonding and social cohesiveness (Vinluan, 2024). In relation to Philippine culture, it also takes inspiration from the local adaptation of convenience stores in
the country, which are the Sari Sari stores.

Aside from buying goods, Filipinos love to stay at convenience stores, whether they are waiting for a friend, meeting up with somebody, or even just casually hanging out. With this, SARI SARI maximizes its public space to cater more users by providing an open dining area on its upper floor that can also be a waiting area for some. With the promotion of using bicycles and electric vehicles for sustainable mobility, SARI SARI provided a bike-and-dine area for two-wheeled users to provide a convenient, bike-friendly, and safe place for them while resting. With this addition, it will not only improve the customer experience but it will also
encourage more users to ride their bikes (McDonald’s PH Turns ‘Drive-thrus’ Into ‘Ride-thrus’ for Cyclists, 2024)

Furthermore, to easily navigate where the sections are, wayfinding signage was incorporated through floor and wall design with vibrant choice of colors. Aside from using the colors of the Pasay City logo, color theory was considered in choosing and assigning the colors per section. Andybeer (2024) stated that wayfinding designs saves time and efficiency
for the customer, as they can easily find their way around the space, reducing the time they spend wandering around. Moreover, these graphics contribute to a visually appealing and engaging environment, especially for kids. And to bring playfulness to simple spaces and the monotonous routine of users, as Upadhyaya (2022) stated, a slide is added to the convenience store.

Technical information

Sustainable Development Goals

a.) Affordable and Clean Energy (7th Goal)

SARI SARI contributes to energy savings by using a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free freezing system. Greywater treatment for water is used, and a solar power generation system is incorporated to generate electricity for the store’s consumption.

Solar Energy Computation for the Store
According to NASA, approximately 342 watts of solar energy fall upon
every square meter of the earth, which could be used for solar applications.
SC = 342 watts per sqm
According to the Solar Learning Center (2020), the average efficiency of
solar panels falls between 17 and 19 percent.
ESP = 18% or 18
The total number of solar panels used is 120 SP with a 2 sq. m. area.
Solving for the monthly solar energy potential of the system:
P = SC x ESP x SA
P = (342)(.18)[(120)(2)]
P = (61.56)(240)
= 14,774.40 watts
= 147.744 kW
(147.744)(30) = 4,432.32 kW/month

b.) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (9th Goal)

Known for its speed compared to traditional construction, modular construction offers flexibility, for easier expansion, modification, and relocation. Most importantly, it has environmental benefits in that it incorporates highly efficient insulation materials, resulting in increased energy efficiency and lower CO2 emissions (Algeco, n.d.).

SARI SARI incorporates self checkout kiosks for convenience and faster
shopping experience. Based on the customer survey conducted by Magestore (2023), long checkout lines are the top consumer pain with 60%. Self checkout kiosks take up less space than traditional checkout registers and reduce the amount of space required to process orders. Other than self checkout kiosks, the store also maximizes the application of Internet of Things (IoT)-like sensors to improve sustainable operations. Aside from these, it can also help staff save time and increase their
productivity as they can restock shelves, rearrange merchandise, and consult with customers more effectively.

c.) Sustainable Cities and Communities (11th Goal)

Placed within the city, SARI SARI incorporates greeneries to help mitigate the effects of pollution and the urban heat island effect. According to GreenBlue Urban (2024), street trees can reduce the pollution concentration by 15–20%, and for every 10% increase in urban tree shade/canopy, 3–7% of carbon is reduced. Combining green with blue elements, rainwater drainage through healthy urban trees may hold up to 70% of water in their canopy and branch structure during rains, and for every 5% of tree cover, 2% of stormwater runoff is reduced. Moreover, the store also added green spaces around it to help improve one’s physical and mental health as well (Sreenivas, 2023).

d.) Responsible Consumption and Production (12th Goal)

Reusing shipping containers as storage or building materials reduces the use of more wasteful materials such as cement (a source of CO2), bricks, and more. Made to withstand water and wind, container vans are made of high-grade materials, making them extremely durable. It is convenient to reuse because it is compact and easy to move, making it easy for customization and modification (360Connect, LP, 2024).

The use of eco-friendly manufactured concrete and steel, and locally sourced materials was also applied to the construction of the store (360Connect, LP, 2024). Using carbon-neutral cement could cut 2 gigatons of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere (Newcomb, 2022). Replacing limestone with microalgae, concrete became carbon neutral. For the curtain walls, SARI SARI uses low-e-glass, where it has a double - glazing solution that combines energy efficiency with aesthetics (AIS Glass : AIS EcoSense, 2024). And for its paint, it uses low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paint.

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