Whole Foods | Big Ass Fans
Houston, TX

Case Study: Whole Foods

Big Ass Fans are unique from other fans because of their size and the fact that they generate a lot of air movement without turning at high speeds. But most importantly, they work – even when installed on high ceilings – without disturbing the store patrons. Nathaniel Gallagher, architect, Stone Soup 6

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Designing an alfresco dining space in the unrelenting Houston heat presented tough challenges for Whole Foods. Air conditioning the outdoors doesn’t exactly promote the sustainability initiatives of the environmentally-responsible retailer, and small ceiling fans were incapable of covering enough area. Despite the obstacles, Whole Foods set out to design an outdoor hangout reminiscent of the indoor luxuries.


Whole Foods installed four 8-ft (2.4-m) diameter Isis fans in the patio and entryway to extend the use of its outdoor space on even the hottest days. To increase the efficiency of its A/C system while also improving shopper comfort, two more Isis fans were placed over the indoor dining area.


When designing an outdoor seating area, architecture firm Stone Soup 6 knew that a comfortable atmosphere was vitally important to maintaining store traffic. With impressive yet gentle air circulation, the Isis fans create a breezy ambiance without the noisy and disruptive airflow of high velocity fans. Shoppers and diners are able to enjoy their Whole Foods experience even in the stifling southwest heat.

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