In Heat, George Monbiot suggests that big box retail should be stopped dead, and that suburban strip malls and big box stores must be converted to warehouses and distribution centers, which don't need the heating and cooling and lighting of retail outlets. Jim Kunstler says "the activities that have become "normal" for us during the post World War Two era will very shortly become untenable. An economy based on suburban expansion and incessant motoring is on the top of the list of supposedly "normal" activities that will not be able to continue."
Thus I am less than excited about Best Buy's new commitment to mandatory green building with LEED certification.
Kunstler also notes that "For anyone who wonders how much we do not need anymore retail space in America, have a look at this chart showing the comparative amount of retail square-footage allotted for citizens of each nation." (shown above)
Best Buy's ambition to build with "some combination of energy-efficient lighting, rainwater recycling, recycled or otherwise eco-friendly building materials, a high-efficiency HVAC system and some type of day-lighting system" is laudable, but meaningless. The big box model, with its acres of parking where it is almost impossible to walk to the other stores, let alone the big box farm, is unsustainable and has to be stopped.
There is no such thing as a green big box, period.