REI’s Prototype Green Store

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Recreational Equipment Inc. yesterday opened its second prototype store to test the performance of green building features, including environmentally-friendly materials, new retail design concepts and technology to promote sustainability and energy savings.

REI’s prototype green store

The store, built from the ground up in Round Rock, Texas, is projected to consume 48 percent less energy than a typical store of its size.

Constructed using the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, the store includes features like solar panels, a solar hot-water system, tubes to direct diffused natural light indoors, an automated lighting system that dims or turns off when not needed, and a “cool” roof to reflect radiation and save energy. These features, REI estimates, will generate 13 percent of the store’s electricity and heat 70 percent of the store’s water use for restrooms and employee showers.

More than 100 light tubes top the store, sending natural illumination inside.

Recycled and sustainable materials used in the building include sunflower seed husks, recycled tennis shoes, carpeting manufactured through a climate-neutral process, and reclaimed wood from fallen trees.

Sunflower seed husks and reclaimed wood are among materials used inside the store.

Says Sally Jewell, REI president and CEO: “This store will not only have reduced operating costs, but we’ve significantly reduced our dependency on fossil fuels.”

See more info on the Round Rock store here: rei.com/greenbuilding/roundrock

By
Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.
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