REI Awarded LEED Gold

Seattle Recreational Equipment, Inc. has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its prototype store in Boulder, Colo.

The prototype, a remodeled and expanded location, was designed to improve the in-store experience and reduce the store’s environmental footprint by focusing on energy efficiency, water conservation, the use of recycled and renewable materials.

Designed in collaboration with Gensler, the prototype project was implemented to help REI make more sustainable business decisions in regards to its buildings, and better connect its communities to outdoor recreational opportunities, clubs and nonprofit groups in their local area, the retailer said.

The store’s sustainable elements include:

  • Abuilding-integrated photovoltaic system to generate electricity through imbedded silicon solar cells — the first installation of its kind in a retail environment, according to REI;

  • Tubes (from Solatubes) that 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;

  • Asolar hot-water system that meets 70% of the store's hot-water needs from bathrooms and employee showers;

  • High-efficiency plumbing fixtures that reduce water use by more than 3o%;

  • Ceramic metal halide fixtures, as opposed to incandescent bulbs, that improve lighting, reduce energy use and last longer;

  • Materials made from rapidly renewable resources, and/or recycled, post-consumer or post-production waste from landfills;

  • Shower facilities, bike storage and incentive programs encourage employees to use alternative means of transportation; and

  • Comprehensive operational initiatives, such as green cleaning and employee waste management and recycling programs.