PCC buildings get greener

This article was originally published in July 2019

PCC has become the first grocery store in the world to pursue Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal Certification. The Living Building Challenge, run by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), is the world’s most rigorous green building standard.

“We set high standards for the food we allow on our shelves and we believe that our stores should be held to equally high standards,” said Brenna Davis, PCC’s vice president of social and environmental responsibility.

“In partnership with the International Living Future Institute, we are reimagining how grocery stores are built — using less water and energy, designing refrigeration systems that have a reduced climate impact, utilizing building materials that protect human health, and creating spaces that nurture a deeper sense of connection to the environment and our community.”

The Living Building Challenge is organized into seven performance areas: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. PCC will pursue three of the seven Petals — as required for certification — across its five new stores: Ballard and West Seattle, opening later this year, and Bellevue, Downtown Seattle and Madison Valley, opening in 2020.

The Place, Beauty and Materials Petals will come to life in future PCC stores in many ways, including:

  • Energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
  • Reclaimed materials, e.g., using reclaimed wood for tables.
  • Building materials and finishes that avoid chemicals with the greatest impact to human and ecosystem health.
  • Sustainable refrigeration systems that use refrigerants with a lower climate impact.
  • Electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Bicycle storage and shower facilities for staff.
  • Public art and design features with the intent to solely bring joy and a celebration of culture into the space.

In a separate recognition of our environmental commitment, the Burien PCC has become the first grocery store in the U.S. to be certified under the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 program for exceptional design, construction and operation of a “green” building. Redmond PCC was the first grocery store in the U.S. to receive LEED Gold Certification when it opened in 2006.

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