Outdoor leisure co-op REI has submitted designs to local planning authorities for a new headquarters that is “accessible, sustainable, and connected to the community”.
The review can take up to a year and if the plans are approved, the US co-op hopes to relocate to the new site, in Bellevue, Washington state, in 2o20.
It will be based in Spring District, a mixed residential and business development currently under construction in the city.
“Our challenge is to build a world-class, sustainable headquarters that brings the best of outdoor life into a collaborative work setting for our employees,” said chief operating officer Eric Artz.
“The Spring District gives us the opportunity to help build a neighbourhood from the ground up and rethink how we work, commute and gather. We’re excited to work with the City of Bellevue, King County and other partners throughout the region.”
REI, the largest consumer co-op in the US, incorporates sustainable design in all of its buildings across the country. For its new campus, REI and its partners will follow the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria.
The co-op has more than 1.1 million square feet of LEED-certified buildings, including its newest distribution centre in Arizona, which achieved LEED Platinum and is the most sustainable distribution centre in the country.
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The co-op will also consult Salmon Safe, an organisation which works to environmental impact to local watersheds to allow salmon to spawn.
Plans for the new building include positioning it for for optimal solar orientation, windows placed to maximise daylight, energy-efficient features throughout the sit, and edible garden species and native vegetation in the landscaping.
It hopes to bring co-op employees and the local community together, with three public pedestrian paths crossing the site, linking nearby transit and residential areas.
The space may also include public amenities such as a retail location, coffee shops and food options.
And to create a collaborative working environment for staff, the building will feature connector bridges across courtyard spaces, outdoor staircases, rooftop walkways and outdoor meeting spaces. There will also be outdoor space for employees to exercise and host community events.
REI is working with the City of Bellevue, King County and other partners to increase commuting options in Bellevue and throughout the Puget Sound region, including improved bike connectivity throughout the region.
The plans continue REI’s investment in the Puget Sound region, which last year saw it put $9.3m into more than 300 nonprofit partners, including more than $750,000 in outdoor places and causes.
Spring District is part of in the Mountains to Sound Greenway (MTSG), a linked network of green spaces and historic towns that REI has supported for several years.
It also lies on the Eastside Rail Corridor (ERC), a 42-mile multi-use trail which has enjoyed support from REI.
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