Verizon seeks LEED certification for new store

New York City Verizon Wireless’s first store to seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for commercial interiors recently opened for business, in the Eastridge Mall Shopping Center in Casper, Wyo.

Gruskin Group, Springfield, N.J., developed Verizon Wireless’ latest store design and adapted the prototype to existing retail tenant space in Caster to create a model for green commercial interiors.

Specifically, Gruskin Group worked with Verizon Wireless’s internal corporate design team, as well as Paladino and Co., the team’s sustainability consultant, to design the store with the goal of achieving a LEED Gold rating.

“We evaluated every material that went into the prototype, lighting design, mechanical and electrical systems, plumbing fixtures, construction process, as well as the sourcing of all building materials, with the goal of developing a dynamic retail environment that reduces its impact on the environment,” explained Kenneth A. Gruskin, principal and founder of Gruskin Group. “Our intent was to demonstrate that ‘green’ stores could be built without significantly increasing the cost of the project, or impacting the customer experience or look and feel of the Verizon Wireless brand.”

The Casper store offers customers a hands-on experiential shopping environment where they can sample cutting edge voice, data, music and video technology.

The store is not only expected to be certified as the first LEED-certified retail store in Casper, it will be one of only six LEED-certified projects in Wyoming. Among its key environmentally conscious features are water and lighting power savings; the diversion of construction waste from landfills; Verizon Wireless’ longtime “Hopeline” program which recycles unwanted wireless phones and equipment and reduces e-waste from entering landfills; recycled content in building materials; regionally manufactured materials; use of Energy Star equipment and appliances; improved indoor air quality due to reduced VOC paints, as well as “green” cleaning products, carpeting and systems furniture, and a green education program conducted by Verizon Wireless.

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