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Adjusting to LEED for Retail

Retailers got their very own LEED designation – LEED for Retail, for both New Construction and Commercial Interiors – in November 2010, though it doesn’t differ dramatically from the standard LEED for New Construction or Commercial Interiors heretofore used by food retailers.

Still there are differences, noted Marc Mondor, principal, LEED faculty, evolveEA, Pittsburgh. Here are some:

• Retail projects can earn LEED for Retail credits by moving into or becoming part of a larger green development site such as a shopping center.

• LEED awards credits for buildings that are accessible via public transportation, but LEED for Retail only looks at how employees — not shoppers — get to the store.

• Low water usage is a key component of the LEED standard. Under LEED for Retail, retailers have to count the amount of “process water” used in kitchen equipment along with other water applications.

• LEED for Retail has a different set of baseline energy standards for commercial kitchen equipment, refrigeration and walk-in coolers.

Retailers may prefer to opt for standard LEED for New Construction or Commercial Interiors, rather than LEED for Retail, said Mondor. “It’s case by case as to which works better,” he said. Eventually, though, he expects retailers will only be allowed to use LEED for Retail.

Mondor also believes there should be a separate offshoot of LEED for Retail for supermarkets. “Some of these credits work out fine if you’re a bank but not quite as well if you’re a supermarket.”

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