Eco-friendly features at Redmond PCC | PCC Natural Markets

Eco-friendly features at Redmond PCC

Child on counter

A national leader in eco-building strategies

Thanks to smart planning, our new Redmond store is as eco-friendly as the groceries we carry. Our Redmond PCC store is the first store in the United States to be awarded the prestigious LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for exceptional design, construction and operation of a "green" building.

Notable features include efficient lighting that is 37 percent lower than our state's energy code, low-VOC wall paint, and hot water for cooking and washing that is heated with energy captured from the refrigerations sytems that keep our food cold.

The store also features cabinets built from 100 percent recycled fiber, and clay and glass tiles made from 50 to 100 percent recycled content. These details and more are outlined below:

Energy efficiency


  • To bring ample natural light into the sales area, 28 skylights were installed to complement the north windows. The special diffuse glazing of the skylights allows 65% of visible light to enter, while blocking 64% of the sun's heat.

Efficient Lighting

Skylights at the Redmond PCC store.
Twenty-eight skylights at the Redmond PCC bring ample natural light into the sales area.
  • A mixture of fluorescent and ceramic metal halide lighting was used to achieve full spectrum lighting. General lighting is only 0.21 watts per square foot, which is 86% lower than the already low Washington State Energy Code; and accent lighting is only 0.94 watts per square foot, which is 37% lower than code.
  • Daylight sensors turn off the general lighting in the sales area when there is sufficient sun, reducing lighting wattage by an additional 40%.
  • Timers turn off the accent lighting in the sales area when the store is closed.

Efficient Systems

  • The space heating, hot water heating, and refrigeration systems are all interconnected by the same refrigerant loop, so that waste heat from the refrigeration system is utilized by the other functions.
  • The major exhaust hoods at the stovetops operate only when they sense smoke or steam, instead of operating continuously.
  • Annual savings from all energy measures combined is expected to be 50% better than industry standard, as predicted by a DOE2 (Department of Energy 2) computer simulation.
  • All energy consuming systems have sensors that will measure actual usage as the store operates.
  • A commissioning agent assured that all systems were operating optimally at installation and will return to tune up all systems so they operate efficiently over the store's lifetime.

Waste reduction


  • The structural ceiling deck in the sales area is the finished ceiling, eliminating the need to use finish ceiling material.
Kitchen at the Redmond PCC.
The major exhaust hoods at the stovetops operate only when they sense smoke or steam, instead of operating continuously.


  • About half of the furniture in the store's classroom, café, and offices are reused from salvage companies.


  • Overall, the construction materials in the store contain over 40% recycled content.
  • The structural steel in the project is 82% recycled content from the rolling mill.
  • The steel studs in the project are 73% recycled content.
  • The steel doors and frames in the project are 30% recycled steel.
  • The plumbing and refrigeration piping is made from 100% recycled copper.
  • The custom cabinets are built of panels made from 100% recycled fiber.
  • The clay and glass tiles at restrooms and prep areas are 50% to 100% recycled content.
  • The acoustical ceiling tiles at food prep areas are made from 36% recycled mineral fiber.
  • Of the total tons of waste (cardboard, metal, gypsum wallboard, wire, etc.) accumulated during construction, over 75% was recycled.

Low toxicity

Clouds representing the clean air produced by following the LEED Constructio Indoor Air Quality Plan.

Improved Air Quality

  • The contractors followed a LEED Construction Indoor Air Quality Plan. The result was minimal dust for improved builder health during construction.
  • Following construction, the store was continuously flushed with fresh air for 4 weeks, to provide clean air for customers.
  • Year round, the mechanical systems provide positively pressurized, filtered fresh air to the store.
  • The interior wall paint used contains no formaldehyde (a carcinogen), and has very low VOCs.
  • All building products that entered the store, from insulation to caulk, were screened for low VOCs to virtually eliminate introduction of harmful chemicals into the interior air.


  • All the linear fluorescent lamps are Philips ALTO (indicated by a green ring at the ends) which contain 80% less mercury (necessary for starting the lamps) than standard fluorescent lamps.
  • The refrigerant used for the equipment is R-404a, a zero ozone depleting blend that contains no CFCs.
  • All the lumber and plywood used in the store is certified to be sustainably harvested by the FSC.

The annual savings from all
combined store energy is 50 percent better
than the building industry standard.

Related Content

What is LEED Certification?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a voluntary rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Credits are earned for using advanced industry technology and achieving environmental performance.