REI’s newest LEED certified retail stores are evidence that smart business and environmental responsibility sometimes lead down the same path. These new stores enjoy lower operating costs, and customers appreciate the company’s dedication to sustainable building.
The REI store in Round Rock, TX, which received a LEED Gold ciertification, is the latest “green” location for the outdoor equipment retailer. It joins five other LEED-certified REI facilities across the country, which have received designations for Retail, Commercial Interiors, and New Construction.
The Round Rock location features a rooftop solar array that generates 8% of the store’s electricity, plus provides most of the facility’s hot water. Solatube skylights maximize the use of natural light inside, and a reflective “cool roof” reduces the need for air conditioning by up to 15%. Reclaimed waste ranging from old tires to sunflower seed husks was used in the production of flooring, carpet, and countertops. In all, REI estimates that their Round Rock location consumes just half the energy of a traditionally designed structure.
Although REI does not necessarily aim for LEED certifications with all new constructions or renovations, the company strives to maximize energy and water efficiency at all facilities, minimize waste, and utilize sustainable construction materials wherever possible.
According to Dean Iwata, REI’s Director of Store Development, “Receiving LEED certification validates that we are making the right decisions for the environment and our business when designing our stores.”
Learn more at REI’s website.