Our Current Stories on Sustaining the Environment

Resource Conservation

Smart Standards for Store Construction

Smart Standards for Store Construction

"Green building" has become a common household term as office buildings, condominiums, homes, and even churches embrace environmentally responsible design. At Nordstrom, we've always taken care to reduce environmental impacts across our operations, and we are excited to implement new standards for earth-friendly design and construction.

Over the past several years, we've taken a careful look at our design and construction practices with the environment in mind. We have raised our standards for new store construction and have been retrofitting existing stores to increase energy efficiency, decrease water usage, and limit environmental impacts. And we are working with our contractors and municipalities to recycle as much construction debris as possible given the construction process itself can have significant environmental impacts.

"We want to do whatever we can to respect the environment and be a responsible corporate citizen." - Clint Kendall, Nordstrom Store Planning

Efficient design
The design elements we've put in place reflect our commitment to the environment. "We've always worked to design our stores efficiently in terms of energy and water usage and indoor air quality," said Clint Kendall, architect and project manager for Store Planning at Nordstrom. "It makes good business sense and it's the responsible thing to do."

A few examples include the use of white and reflective surface on the rooftops of our facilities to reduce the heat island effect, where the concentration of buildings in urban areas increases local temperatures. We have also upgraded our controls and the monitoring of our Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems and lighting systems to improve energy efficiency.

In addition to increased energy efficiency, we are focused on reducing water consumption. For example, we've been installing waterless urinals, more efficient toilets and automatic faucets throughout our full-line stores. At our Nordstrom Rack locations, we use one-eighth gallons per flush urinals, which use less water than other urinals. We've also been working to decrease water usage for landscaping by installing rain sensors and drip irrigation systems where appropriate.

Additionally, we use low-toxicity building materials, such as paints, carpeting, sealants and adhesives, which greatly improves the quality of air inside our stores and facilities.

Staying ahead of the curve
As we push forward with new, more efficient standards, we are also keeping an eye on requirements in the various jurisdictions where we build or have a presence. "We know more jurisdictions are adopting LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and other green certification requirements," said Clint. "While we have not applied for LEED certification, Nordstrom's own standards for building would come close to meeting the requirements for certification."

However, LEED is only one of several third-party rating systems that measure environmentally responsible design. Nordstrom is always pursuing new opportunities to improve store design.

"In fall 2003, we started telling our contractors that we expect them to recycle all materials if municipal recycling regulations made it possible," said Clint. "At one site, we were able to recycle all the waste drywall by grinding it up and mixing it with the soil on the perimeter of the mall instead of sending it off to a landfill. We want to do whatever we can to respect the environment and be a responsible corporate citizen."

Smart Standards for Store Construction

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