Verizon’s first “Evolution” prototype in Casper, Wy., features recycled and regionally produced materials, low energy and water consumption,
and FSC-certified and CARB-compliant fixtures by Leggett & Platt. At press time, an additional 75 Verizon locations had attained LEED certification.
Karin Pryor, vice president of marketing for
Leggett & Platt, notes that FSC-certified and/
or CARB-compliant fixtures are among the
manufacturer’s standard offerings today.
The Evolution prototype’s biggest changes
from Verizon’s standard prototype were to
realize water and energy savings, areas that
typically don’t greatly affect what shop-
pers see. Low-flow plumbing fixtures, an
energy management system, and Energy
Star sales terminals and HVAC equipment
are likely to go unnoticed by Verizon custom-
ers. And thanks to careful analysis, the light-
ing changes aren’t likely to draw attention
either. “Lighting is like makeup; it transforms
the way you see product. We needed a good
amount of light on the product, but we only
had so much power to work with,” Gruskin
explains. “So we had to focus it where it was
most important and use less, say, in the back
of the house or in ambient lighting.”
One major challenge for the project is
common among initial retail adaptations for
green building: getting existing contractors
and vendors to think differently. Education
was required to counter the natural resistance to change for practices such as construction waste management.
Other stakeholders who were educated
in the process include the store’s associates,
who are trained to conduct tours to explain
the store’s sustainable features. “For the staff,
this was an exciting and new experience,”
Gruskin says. LEED reviewers thought so too;
they gave it an Innovation in Design point.
Customers also are engaged through the
store’s collection of e-waste for recycling.
Collected phones are disposed of under a
zero landfill policy or refurbished for resale
and reuse. Proceeds from the resales support
local victims of domestic violence and local
non-profit advocacy agencies.
… Major Return
So how did the Evolution prototype do? Like
other Verizon Wireless stores, it’s a hands-on,
experiential shopping environment where
customers can sample everything from
handsets to data products and receive tech-
nical assistance and customer support. The
aesthetic continues to reflect the high-tech
nature of the brand, and construction hard
costs increased minimally to achieve the
green building goal.
Jo Rossman, LEED AP,
is A.R.E.’s manager
of sustainability and
E-mail her at jorossman