REI's Pittsburgh Store Receives United States Green Building Council's LEED Silver Rating for Commercial Interiors

REI’s Pittsburgh Store Receives United States Green Building Council’s LEED Silver Rating for Commercial Interiors
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Less water, less electricity, minimal construction waste and an urban location on the reclaimed grounds once home to a steel mill all helped REI's new Pittsburgh store reduce its environmental impact.

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a national retail cooperative providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, announced today that several green construction achievements for the store have earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) Silver® rating from the United States Green Building Council.

The 26,500 square-foot, two-story store in Southside Works, at 412 S. 27th Street, is the second REI store to receive LEED certification. In 2004, REI earned LEED-CI Gold for its Portland, Ore., store – the first retail store in the nation to receive that designation.

“Our customers appreciate REI being a good citizen in everything we do and that includes green building design,” said Dean Iwata, REI director of Store Development. “What we are learning through the LEED certification process is improving design, construction and remodels at all REI stores.”

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. United States Green Building Council members, representing every sector of the building industry, developed and continue to refine LEED.

“When a company like REI takes the lead on green building, they are demonstrating not only that there is commercial value in this approach, but that they care about more than selling gear,” Scot Horst, LEED Steering Committee chair. “They also care about people and ecology.”

Other green aspects of the store's construction include locally manufactured and high recycled content materials; a contract to purchase electricity generated by wind power; a minimum of paints, coatings or carpets that emit chemical fumes; and secure bicycle storage for employees and customers who wish to ride to work or shop.

Green construction is one of several initiatives where REI is making progress in reducing the cooperative's environmental footprint. For more than 10 years, the aesthetic design of REI stores has reflected a commitment to do more with less. The steel is exposed and not painted; ductwork is exposed rather than covered with sheetrock; and concrete is not painted or covered with additional materials. This allows reduced use of construction products while creating an authentic, natural look that has become the hallmark of REI stores.

The design team for the REI Pittsburgh store includes:

• Architecture and design—Mithun Architects/REI
• LEED Accredited Professionals—Mithun Architects
• Mechanical—Sound Mechanical Consulting
• Electrical and lighting—Hultz/BHU/Cross Engineers
• Construction—P.J. Dick Incorporated
• Project coordination and fixturing—REI Store Development team

REI is an outdoor retail cooperative dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its 2.8 million active members for a lifetime of outdoor adventure. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI operates 85 retail stores nationwide, two online stores – REI.com and REI-OUTLET.com – REI Outdoor School and an adventure travel company, REI Adventures. REI offers products from all of the top brands for camping, climbing, cycling, hiking, outdoor fitness, paddling, snow sports and travel, including its own line of award-winning gear and apparel. While anyone may shop at REI, members pay a one-time $15 fee and receive a share in the company's profits through an annual member refund based on their purchases. As an active supporter of the communities in which it does business, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through education, volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

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