be inclined to take public transportation
or bike to work. Rather than installing electric car charging stations in a store’s parking
lot for employees, the team might consider
incentivizing carpooling programs, subsidizing train tickets, and installing bike racks.
In Colorado, on the other hand, employees
may have no choice but to drive to work
because of distance and infrastructure, yet
are more likely to head out to a local park
for lunch. Rather than incentivizing carpooling for employees who aren’t likely to live
near each other, the team might incorporate green roofs that employees can utilize
during lunch breaks.
7 Incorporate easily reproducible “green”
features into the prototype design. Light-
ing, plumbing, materials, and furnishings,
for example, can be reproduced easily and
consistently over a broad range of localities,
while more elaborate systems like green
roofs, daylighting strategies, rainwater sys-
tems and onsite power generation may
require more consideration regarding their
feasibility and lifecycle costs.
8 Set performance criteria for site-specific items. The prototype design should
establish criteria for site-specific items
such as mechanical systems and exterior/
site elements to ensure that the action
plan meets the retailer’s quality-control
and management requirements as well as
9 Establish one architecture firm as the
central LEED contact. Since chains typically
use local architects, engineers, and vendors
in different regions, one firm should maintain the prototype specifications and drawings to ensure consistency while laying out
strong guidelines in both the prototype set
and the quality control/education plan to
maintain a high level of uniformity.
10 Create a plan and stick to it. As with
any new, complex endeavor, expect a period
of trial and error. Work through the initial hic-
cups and avoid unnecessary costs by identi-
fying project goals early and establishing a
LEED team and “captain” at the onset of the
project. Then develop and stick to a highly
integrated and well-orchestrated plan.
While the new USGBC Volume Program
may be the most cost-effective, efficient
approach to integrating sustainability into an
existing retail portfolio, it’s crucial to determine whether it makes sense for a prototype
to be modified to fit into USGBC LEED Volume
Program requirements. If it is, now is a great
time for retailers to channel green ambitions
through the new Volume Program.
Kenneth A. Gruskin, AIA,
is principal and founder
of Gruskin Group, an
integrated design firm
based in Springfield, N.J.
Contact him at kgruskin@
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