Stepping into the KOHLER Signature Store by Expressions Home Gallery near Los Angeles, you would likely notice the striking display of Artist Editions® sinks, and your eyes may be drawn to the vibrant wall of faucets and showering products. What you won't know simply by looking is that the KOHLER Signature Store by Expressions Home Gallery is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified (LEED-certified) building.
LEED-certified buildings are resource-efficient. They use less energy and water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Because the showroom space is part of a larger, shared building, the construction team couldn’t control all aspects.
"Moving into an existing building was a bit of a challenge for us," said Joe Azzarello, Senior Staff Engineer – Sustainability. "We focused on what we could control: energy efficiency, water use, materials and ensuring healthy indoor air and comfort level for associates and guests."
The LEED-certification process takes into consideration waste management throughout the construction process, recycling protocols, reduced parking footprint, bicycle facilities, use of energy-efficient fixtures and indoor air quality.
The showroom is not only Kohler's first LEED-certified, but is the first retail project in the United States to receive LEED v4 certification. The latest version of LEED, v4 incorporates a more comprehensive approach to water efficiency and an expanded focus on the impact of materials on human health.
In 2017 Kohler scored another first when the KOHLER Signature Store by First Supply in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, became the first retail space to receive LEED Gold certification under v4 guidelines.
Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several areas that address sustainability issues. Based on the number of points achieved, a project then receives one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. LEED Gold-certified buildings can reduce energy use by up to 50 percent, carbon dioxide emissions by more than 30 percent, water use by 40 percent and solid waste by 70 percent.
"For the KOHLER Signature Store by First Supply, seeking LEED certification was about creating a space that presses the boundaries of kitchen and bath retail both from an inspirational design and community standpoint," said Kathryn Poehling, Chief Operating Officer – Kitchen & Bath Showrooms, First Supply LLC. "LEED is all about challenging our buildings to be smarter, healthier and more sustainable."
Kohler Co. also has three LEED Gold-certified buildings on its campuses throughout the world, including The Beacon communications building in Kohler, Wisconsin; Kohler Zibo office in Zibo, China; and the Kohler India Technical Center in Pune, India.