PCC Community Markets Seeks Living Building Challenge Certification
Seattle-based PCC Community Markets, the country’s largest community-owned grocery, is pursuing the Living Building Challenge (LBC) Petal Certification, run by Living Future Institute, the world’s most rigorous green building standard. PCC is the first grocery in the world to pursue certification.
“We set high standards for the food we allow on our shelves, and we believe that our stores should be held to equally high standards,” said Brenna Davis, PCC’s VP of social and environmental responsibility. “In partnership with the International Living Future Institute, we are reimagining how grocery stores are built — using less water and energy, designing refrigeration systems that have a reduced climate impact, utilizing building materials that protect human health, and creating spaces that nurture a deeper sense of connection to the environment and our community.”
The Living Building Challenge is organized into seven performance areas: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. PCC will pursue three of the seven areas — as required for Petal Certification — across its five new stores: Ballard and West Seattle, opening later this year, and Bellevue, Downtown Seattle and Madison Valley, opening in 2020.
PCC will address the areas it’s pursing — Place, Beauty and Materials — in the following ways:
- Energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment;
- Reclaimed materials, like wood for décor or tables;
- Building materials and finishes that avoid chemicals with the greatest impact to human and ecosystem health;
- Sustainable refrigeration systems that utilize refrigerants with a lower climate impact;
- Electric vehicle charging stations;
- Bicycle storage and shower facilities for staff;
- Habitat Exchange offset through the ILFI Living Future Habitat Exchange; and
- Public art and design features with the intent to solely bring joy and a celebration of culture into the space.
In addition to the LBC certification, PCC’s location in Burien, which opened in May 2018, was the first grocery store in the country to be certified under the new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 program for exceptional design, construction and operation of a “green” building. Redmond PCC was the first grocery store in the U.S. to receive LEED Gold Certification when it opened in 2006.