West Elm Going "Green" in Emeryville, CA

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Last Wednesday, West Elm opened the doors to its new Emeryville location. This is the second store in the Bay Area, and the company’s first built “from the ground up using green building practices.” How green is it? Check out all of the eco-conscious features of this new 14,500 square foot space after the jump…

posted originally from: AT:San Francisco

During construction, West Elm practiced a number of progressive green building techniques and standards. Materials were recycled, low VOC paint was used throughout, and the hardwood floors of the store are reclaimed wood that comes from old barns. Energy efficient lighting was installed along with low flow plumbing fixtures and an air conditioning system maximizing the use of fresh air.

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Perhaps the most dazzling eco-feature is outside of the building. Taking a queue from the California Academy of Sciences, West Elm has a living roof covered in turf, flowers and grasses. The living roof not only helps to insulate the building, it also has an integrated irrigation system that reduces their water usage by up to 25%. In addition to providing an urban natural habitat for butterflies, birds, and insects, the roof houses a large solar power system. Projected to offset 10-15% of the power consumption for the building, west elm estimates that it will help to remove the CO2 emission equivalent to planting 17 acres of trees.

Clearly visible from the Bay Bridge, the Emeryville location is a vivid example of what Dave DeMattei, group president Williams-Sonoma, Williams-Sonoma Home & West Elm brands, considers “embracing green building practices in retail construction."

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The Spring 2009 Collection at West Elm is in line with the socially-conscious practices used constructing the new location. Khadi textiles create employment opportunities for tribal women in India, and are the cornerstone of their hand loomed collection now in stores. Recycled glassware and organic bedding and bath collections round out West Elm’s dedication to green living.

Has anyone checked out the new location? We’ll be visiting soon, and would love to hear what other locals think!