REI's commitment to green building has been going on for years. At REI Boulder, it takes center stage. This store is the prototype, representing REI's new standard for sustainability and next generation of retailing. For example, we've used all three solar strategies available for architectural design: passive solar, solar thermal and solar electric. The result? Twenty percent less energy used than stores that meet industry standards.
REI has been at the forefront of green building. In 1993, we began designing and constructing our Seattle flagship store, which opened three years later. Our process started with community and member involvement, which helped identify and prioritize the green design elements developed for the store. Many of these features became part of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) evaluation criteria.
Since 1996 we've built on the work done for our Seattle store and enhanced the use of green design elements in all of our new store construction projects. In 2004, our Portland, Ore., location became the first retail store in the country to earn LEED-Commercial Interior (CI)® Gold. In 2008, REI's distribution center in Bedford, Penn. received LEED Silver certification for New Construction. Part of the LEED for Retail pilot program, REI Boulder — and the co-op's second prototype in Round Rock, Texas received LEED-CI Gold certification.
The new Boulder store represents REI's commitment to reducing our environmental footprint and aligns with the co-op's mission and core values. Its smart design is aimed at energy efficiency, water conservation and indoor air quality; the materials used have also been chosen for their minimal impact on the environment.
REI's goal is to send zero waste to the landfill by 2020. Along with smart building design, this means employees actively recycle all cardboard, plastic, aluminum, glass and paper in the store as well as composting items from break rooms and cafes.
Boulder is a community of active, involved and environmentally conscious folks. Reinforcing REI's commitment to serve as a gateway to the outdoors, our new Boulder store serves as a gathering place for our members, customers, local organizations, staff and vendors alike. The floor plan is designed around a central resource area with meeting rooms, information kiosks and a children's play area; all reflecting our dedication to inspire and educate for a lifetime of outdoor adventure.
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