REI has some plans in mind when it comes to its next generation of retail stores. These plans, besides your usual design changes and better layout, incorporate some green technology ideas and could help to enhance REI’s image as an environmentally friendly retailer.
The first REI retail store with the green technology enhancement is a prototype retail outlet opening in Boulder, Colorado. The building itself is partly made of green materials, said REI, such as bamboo, recycled rubber and cork. These materials are present in the floor, benches and other places. Solar makes up the other primary environmental focus of this building. It will use passive solar, solar thermal and solar electric to handle much of the location’s energy needs.
In summary, according to REI, natural daylight coming through “Solatubes” will be channeled into the building, with store lighting dimming or turning off during the day. Also, a large entryway skylight will collect solar energy into imbedded silicon solar cells, while a solar water heater will reportedly meet close to three-quarters of the building’s hot water needs.
REI Boulder was constructed, according to the co-op, using the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, specifically to achieve a LEED Silver certification.
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