Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national outdoor gear and clothing retail cooperative, was recently awarded LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors (CI) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for its prototype store in Boulder, CO. The REI Boulder, CO location is a remodeled and expanded store that reopened in the fall of 2007, and serves as the co-op’s first prototype location. The prototype store was designed to improve the in-store experience and reduce its environmental footprint by focusing on areas including energy efficiency, water conservation, and the use of recycled and renewable materials.
In May 2008, TFM featured REI’s Boulder store. Read “Natural Habitat” here.
“The design and construction of our Boulder store has allowed REI to test innovative technologies and concepts, pushing the co-op to a new level of sustainability,” said Brian Unmacht, REI’s executive vice president of Sales, Store Development and Logistics. “Receiving LEED Gold certification from USGBC reaffirms our efforts to better align our facilities and operations with our commitment to being good environmental stewards, while serving as a gateway to the outdoors.”
Highlights of REI Boulder’s green features include:
- SolatubesT to channel natural light throughout the store, coupled with a control system that automatically dims or turns off fluorescent lights during the day to save energy
- A building integrated photovoltaic system to generate electricity through embedded silicon solar cells—the first installation of its kind in a retail environment
- A solar hot water system that meets 70% of the store’s hot water needs from bathrooms and employee showers
- Shower facilities, bike storage and incentive programs encourage employees to use alternative means of transportation
- Comprehensive operational initiatives, such as green cleaning and employee waste management and recycling programs
A second REI prototype store opened in Round Rock, TX in the fall of 2008. Both prototype stores are part of USGBC’s LEED for Retail: Commercial Interiors pilot project, which has the goal of creating certification procedures that are less costly and time intensive for the retail construction industry.
The Boulder store joins REI Portland, which was the first retail store in the country to earn a LEED Gold rating for Commercial Interiors. REI’s other LEED certified facilities include REI Pittsburgh (LEED Silver rating for CI) and the co-op’s eastern region distribution center, located in Bedford, PA (LEED Silver rating for New Construction).
(Photo: Scott Dressel-Martin)