REI Prototype Store Lands Top Sustainable Design Award

REI Prototype Store Lands Top Sustainable Design Award

The Association for Retail Environments has singled out REI's LEED-Gold certified store for its holistic design aesthetics and functionality, naming it the Project of the Year in its inaugural Sustainability Awards. A North Face store in Boise, Idaho, and the Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington, D.C., tied for second place.

When Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) opened its new store in Round Rock, Texas, last year it was a test of several retail design and green building concepts.

The prototype store sports recyclable carpet, rubber flooring, a rooftop solar power array, solar thermal water system, natural lighting, and energy efficient insulation, appliances and HVAC system, among other features.

The awards also recognized individual contributors for each project. Receiving kudos for the REI store were design firm Gensler, visual element suppliers Lehrman Cameron Studio and Tempest Technologies, and fixture companies Grand & Benedicts Store Fixtures, High Country Millwork, Leader Manufacturing Inc., Reeve Store Equipment Co., and Rudy Rack.


At the Founding Farmers restaurant, which promotes sustainable food and wine, reclaimed wood from a West Virginia barn and Georgia textile mill was used in construction.

Nearly half of the materials used to build and operate the LEED-Gold certified site were manufactured within 500 miles, and 90 percent of construction waste was recycled.

Fifty percent post-consumer recycled paper was used in the countertops and sustainably harvested wood pulp and waste were used to cover the walls.

North Face restored previously closed-off windows with high-efficiency glazing at its store in Boise to enhance natural light.

Buildings materials were largely recycled or recyclable. They included recyclable porcelain tile with low VOC, carpet made with renewable fibers and recycled content, sustainably harvested wood for some walls, bamboo shelving and 15 percent recycled content grout, among other features.

The Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Denham Springs, La., Canadian Tire Smart Store in Welland, Ontario, Canada, and a Timberland store at London’s Westfield Shopping Center each earned an Outstanding Merit nod.