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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sportswear and Equipment Companies Green Buildings

Patagonia, the sportswear clothing company, built a 171,000 square foot LEED Gold-certified addition to its Reno, NV distribution center. The addition contains a modular conveyor system which uses 30 percent less energy and increases operational efficiency by 20 percent. 

The addition is heated with a radiant heating system, which uses copper tubes filled with hot water. 

In constructing the addition, Patagonia went beyond the LEED Gold-certification requirements:
  • Used 100 percent light-colored concrete instead of asphalt in parking lot and driveways. LEED requires 30 percent to be certified.
  • Uses 40 percent less water by installing water efficient toilets, waterless urinals, and bathroom faucets that automatically turn off. (LEED requires 30 percent.
  • Fifty percent of the materials used to construct addition were manufactured within a 500 mile radius. LEED requires 20 percent.
  • All the wood used was Forest Stewardship Council (FCS) certified. LEED requires 50 percent.
“Whether we're designing a new product, sourcing contract manufacturing sites, or building a new distribution center, everything we do goes back to the mission statement,” said Dave Abeloe, director of the Reno facility. “We ask ourselves: 'What are we trying to accomplish with this project, and how can we do that while adhering to our values?'”

REI's LEED Silver-certified distribution center

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) built 525,000 square foot LEED Silver-certified distribution center. The 43 acre property in Bedford, PA, according to a Reuter's article, is one of the largest "green buildings and properties" in the U.S.

During the building of the distribution center, heavy construction equipment was powered by bio-diesel (B20). A concrete and mixing plant was also on the construction site.

The distribution center contains 360 windows and skylights which reduces energy use by 33 percent. Twenty bike stalls were installed in the parking lot, along with 30 preferred parking spaces for those who carpool or drive fuel-efficient vehicles. 

REI bought 12 acres surrounding the property to reate a natural wetland, which will help local wildlife and help the company manage its rain water runoff.

In addition to achieving LEED Gold-certification, REI donated a house already on the property Habitat for Humanity. 

"We are very proud of what we have accomplished, in addition to enabling us to significantly reduce the transit times to our customers and existing stores in the Eastern United States," said Brian Unmacht, REI's senior vice president of salesstore development and logistics.

Watch a video about Patagonia's distribution center:

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