Over the course of this semester, I’ve covered a lot of different kinds of LEED buildings from residential buildings to offices to convention centers. For my last passion post of the semester, I’d like to focus on a type of building that I haven’t talked about before; commercial space.
When designing a new retail store in Mansfield, MA, L.L. Bean decided to appeal to their core customer base and strive for silver LEED certification. As an outdoor equipment store, they recognized that their customers have a great love for the Earth and L.L. Bean hoped to channel those feelings into their design. They wanted to have a store that brought the outdoors in; the architects decided to incorporate this request by incorporating natural light into the store’s design. This innovation reduced the facility’s dependence upon electricity and reduced it’s energy consumption by 40%.
Along with electricity, L.L. Bean challenged their architects to conserve water. By including water-less urinals and low-flow toilets and sinks into their design, the store reduced it’s water consumption by 29%.
The part of the project that I find to be the most exciting is the use of materials in the store. A big focus of the design was construction material selection. The project team didn’t want to incorporate any materials that would harm Earth’s natural resources into their design; they heavily focused on choosing recycled and repurposed building materials. The project used carpet and rubber flooring which contained recycled content. They also used FSC-certified hardwoods and reclaimed barn boards for the finished materials to add warmth and motifs from the outdoors to the retail store. L.L. Bean not only specified the use of these materials, they also ordered the meticulous sorting of all construction waste from the site. By doing so, the project diverted 94% of its total waste.
As a customer, would a brand’s dedication to green building influence the amount of money you spent at a store? Does hearing about L.L. Bean‘s conscientiousness make them more credible in your eyes?