REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), the national outdoor gear and clothing retail cooperative, today announced that its stores in Round Rock, Texas and Lincoln Park, Ill. have been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for Commercial Interiors from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
â€œReceiving LEED certification validates that we are making the right decisions for the environment and our business when designing our stores,â€ said Dean Iwata, REI's director of Store Development. â€œWhether powering our stores or showcasing our products, the decisions we make with constructing and operating our buildings are smart investments and significantly impact our goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2020.â€
During the construction of all new stores, REI focuses on increasing energy and water efficiency, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing construction and operating waste, and selecting environmentally responsible materials. The retailer does not pursue LEED certification for each new store or remodel, but utilizes these standards across all design and construction projects to minimize the buildings' environmental impacts.
REI Round Rock was recognized by USGBC for its exceptionally efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and building envelope, more than 80 percent reduction of construction waste, green building education program and rooftop solar panel installation. REI Lincoln Park received certification for various elements, such as its proximity to transit and rail opportunities, incorporation of natural daylight, efficient water fixtures, and use of recycled and regionally sourced building materials.
â€œWith each new LEED-certified building, we get one step closer to USGBC's vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation,â€ said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. â€œBy adding two newly-certified stores to the LEED family of green buildings, REI has strengthened its leadership in the green building movement.â€
REI Round Rock is the co-op's second prototype location that incorporates and tests sustainable designs within an inviting customer experience, including a centralized community mezzanine that provides information on ways to protect and enjoy outdoor places. The store, which opened in September 2008, was designed in collaboration with Gensler, a leading global design, planning and strategic consulting firm. The store is the first LEED-certified building in Round Rock, Texas.
The store in Lincoln Park is the first downtown Chicago REI location and has served local members and the community since October 2008. While not part of the prototype series, the co-op applied for LEED certification for REI Lincoln Park to determine the rating of its more traditional store design.
The newly certified Round Rock and Lincoln Park stores join the following LEED-certified REI locations: REI Portland (LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors), REI Pittsburgh (LEED Silver for Commercial Interiors), REI Boulder (LEED Gold for Retail, Commercial Interiors) and REI Bedford Distribution Center (LEED Silver for New Construction).
Additional information on REI Round Rock's green building features and images is available at www.rei.com/greenbuilding/roundrock. Additional information on the company's overall environmental commitments is available at www.rei.com/stewardship.
More information on the LEED green building certification system is available at www.usgbc.org/LEED.
REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.
Editor's Note: A video of REI's green building initiatives is posted on the co-op's You Tube page (http://www.youtube.com/reifindout).