REI Portland - Gold from Green

REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) wanted to supersize their 3 letter acronym, so they went and got themselves a 4 letter one. A LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Still not satisfied, they even made it a top scoring Gold rated one. And it so happens, they were the first to score such a standard for retail store in the US. LEED is a green building rating system that considers the whole of a building, not just energy use. Let’s have a look at how an outdoor equipment retailer managed to pull off such an architectural coup d’etat, with their 37,500 sq/ft Portland store.Building materials had high recycled content or were locally made, and 96% of construction ‘waste’ was it itself recycled. Electricity for lighting was reduced by 26% by improved capture of natural light. Similarly, restroom water use was reduced by 32% by choosing appropriate fittings. Non-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) (or stinky, toxic chemicals to the rest of us) paint was selected, as was carpet, which also had low VOCs. And they managed to source non-formaldehyde wood composites, as well. REI was assisted in their endeavours by award winning, sustainable architectural practice design, Mithun. More details at ::REI [by WM]