REI Boulder Awarded LEED® Gold Rating by the U.S. Green Building Council

Feb 5, 2009

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), the national outdoor gear and clothing retail cooperative, today announced that its prototype store in Boulder, Colo. has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

REI Boulder is a remodeled and expanded store that reopened in the fall of 2007, and serves as the co-op's first prototype location. The prototype store was designed to improve the in-store experience and reduce its environmental footprint by focusing on energy efficiency, water conservation, the use of recycled and renewable materials, and more.

"The design and construction of our Boulder store has allowed REI to test innovative technologies and concepts, pushing the co-op to a new level of sustainability," said Brian Unmacht, REI's executive vice president of Sales, Store Development and Logistics. "Receiving LEED Gold certification from USGBC reaffirms our efforts to better align our facilities and operations with our commitment to being good environmental stewards, while serving as a gateway to the outdoors."

LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based national certification program for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings that provide immediate and measurable results for building owners and occupants. LEED awards points in six major environmental categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design.

"REI continues to reinforce its leadership in green building design and its Boulder store is another example of this commitment ," said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC's president, CEO and founding chair. "Using smart and efficient choices to lessen its buildings' impacts on the natural world, REI Boulder complements USGBC's vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation."

Highlights of REI Boulder's green features include:

  • Solatubes™ to channel natural light throughout the store, coupled with a control system that automatically dims or turns off fluorescent lights during the day to save energy
  • A building integrated photovoltaic system to generate electricity through imbedded silicon solar cells – the first installation of its kind in a retail environment
  • A solar hot water system that meets 70 percent of the store's hot water needs from bathrooms and employee showers
  • High efficiency plumbing fixtures to reduce water use by more than 30 percent
  • Ceramic metal halide fixtures, as opposed to incandescent bulbs, to improve lighting, reduce energy use and last longer
  • Materials made from rapidly renewable resources, and/or recycled, post-consumer or post-production waste
  • More than 55 percent of construction waste diverted from landfills
  • Shower facilities, bike storage and incentive programs encourage employees to use alternative means of transportation
  • Comprehensive operational initiatives, such as green cleaning and employee waste management and recycling programs

Designed in collaboration with Gensler, a leading global design, planning and strategic consulting firm, REI's prototype initiative was implemented to help the co-op make more sustainable business decisions in regards to its buildings and better connect its communities to outdoor recreational opportunities, clubs and non-profit groups in their local area. Located at the center of REI Boulder is an elevated 2,000 square-foot community center chock full of local outdoor resources and an event space for up to 80 people, available to nonprofits and clubs. REI's second prototype store opened in Round Rock, Texas in the fall of 2008. Both prototype stores are part of USGBC's LEED for Retail: Commercial Interiors pilot project, which has the goal of creating certification procedures that are less costly and time intensive for the retail construction industry.

The co-op has been a leader in green building design for more than 10 years and looks – in part – to USGBC LEED system to help guide these decisions. The Boulder store joins REI Portland, which was the first retail store in the country to earn a LEED Gold rating for Commercial Interiors. REI's other LEED certified facilities include REI Pittsburgh (LEED Silver rating for Commercial Interiors) and the co-op's eastern region distribution center, located in Bedford, Pa. (LEED Silver rating for New Construction).

REI Boulder received Chain Store Age's 2007 Retail Store of the Year award for Environmental Sustainability.

More information on the LEED green building certification system is available at

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 23 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. If you can’t visit one of our many stores, you can shop at, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. Everyone is welcome to shop REI, but members who join the co-op enjoy a range of benefits. More than a retailer, REI is a purpose-driven and values-led company dedicated to enabling life outside for all.